April 2, 2023
WV Legislative Photo
CHARLESTON, WV (Mountaineer News) - In a recent statement, Gov. Jim Justice expressed his support for students who participate in extracurricular activities, regardless of their schooling method.
"I fully support the ability of our HOPE scholarship recipients, students in micro-schools or learning pods, homeschooled students, or our private school students to participate in extracurricular activities at their school or at their local public school," he said.
However, the governor also expressed concerns about a new provision in a bill that allows public school students to transfer schools and retain athletic eligibility one time during their four years of high school.
"Allowing student athletes to transfer to any school whatsoever with no purpose other than jumping to a better athletic team will do nothing but make a few teams better at the expense of all the others," he said.
As a high school coach himself, Gov. Justice believes that coaching is one of the most rewarding experiences one can participate in.
"It’s one that all West Virginians should get involved with at some point in their lives, because it’s up to us to pass down our wisdom to the next generation so that our teenagers are equipped to handle all that’s thrown at them from so many different directions," he said.
Despite his reservations about the transfer rules, Gov. Justice decided not to veto the bill, citing his strong support for allowing all students to participate in extracurricular activities. However, he plans to ask the Legislature to revisit the issue next session to ensure that the transfer rules do not have unintended consequences.
"If we don’t, I fear we’re heading down the wrong path with our high school athletes," he said.