State review ordered for Lincoln County school district

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia education officials have ordered a review of a county school system, a move that puts the district in jeopardy of being put back under state control.

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to have the state Department of Education review the Lincoln County school system, news outlets reported. The move came after a review of Guyan Valley Middle School found 31 non-compliance issues.

State Board of Education President Dave Perry said the school review in January was prompted by complaints because a student killed herself.

“They had a non-certified counselor and it would appear to a certain degree that the student was not permitted or allowed access to counseling services,” Perry said.

The review could lead to the state taking control of the district, which spent 12 years under state control before gaining independence in 2012, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

After a meeting that included two closed sessions, the board said that it was “gravely concerned at the findings in this report and is likewise concerned that similar conditions could be present in other schools in Lincoln County.”

Lincoln County School Board President Steve Priestley said he was surprised by some of the issues found at Guyan Valley, but said he thinks issues are confined to the school.

“I really don’t see that there are pervasive issues that go throughout our whole county,” he said.