Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong has issued a final ruling in a Webster County school consolidation lawsuit.
The Webster County Board of Education voted to close Diana Elementary and Glade Middle Schools, citing dwindling student population in rural areas of the county. The process would transfer preschool to sixth grade students from Diana Elementary to Webster Springs Elementary School and seventh and eighth grade students from Diana Elementary, Glade Middle School, and Webster Springs Elementary School to Webster County High School.
Parents argued that the school consolidation plan would negatively impact Webster County children. Lacosta Westfall, individually and on behalf of a Save Our School group and Tanya Giles, individually and on behalf of the Diana Elementary School Improvement group, filed a lawsuit alleging that the Webster County Board of Education failed to follow West Virginia Board of Education Guidelines while seeking public input on the school closures.
Judge Wilfong ruled that the Webster County Board of Education is within its right to move forward with the school closures, as the board followed proper procedures outlined by the State Board of Education, including properly publicizing meetings regarding the school closures.
The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia School Building Authority haven't yet considered the school closure request of the Webster County Board of Education, according to the court filing by Judge Wilfong.