Two Jefferson County school employees placed on leave for protest participation in DC

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CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Two Jefferson County school employees have been placed on administrative leave after questions arose concerning the extent of their participation in a protest at the U.S. Capitol last week.

School Superintendent, Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson, released a statement Monday saying the school system will “make a determination whether or not [a] violation took place.”

Dr. Gibson referenced social media posts last week that the employees had allegedly “posted threatening and inflammatory posts,” and “violated leave policy.” A former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from the eastern panhandle, Larry D. Kump, says if such allegations are true, the federal authorities should intervene.

“If that did in fact happen the facts should all come out and be adjudicated on the federal level,” says Kump.

Kump believes the school system is going too far by placing the employees on administrative leave. He references Dr. Gibson’s assertion that “every employee has every right to the politics and beliefs of their choice.”

“This was a deliberate and malicious harassment of employees who were on leave as they were exercising their constitutional rights,” Kump asserts.

Republican Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Stolipher is on the same page as Delegate Kump. He says the school system “is punishing employees for participating in a political rally,” possibly infringing on their constitutional rights.

Dr. Gibson says school employees have First Amendment rights so “long as their behavior does not cause harm or is illegal.”

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners will meet on Friday to consider the matter.

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