People will have to pay fee to volunteer in Monroe County schools under new policy

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UNION, WV (WVNS) — Volunteering in Monroe County schools could get a lot more complicated.

That is not something people, like Linda Phillip of Union, want to hear.

“The County pays enough taxes, has enough problems to deal with other than something like this,” said Phillip.

The Monroe County Board of Education posted an announcement on January 8, 2020 explaining a change in their volunteer policy. It requires training and background checks for all volunteers working in the schools and going on field trips. For this, volunteers will be charged $18.

“I don’t think they should charge for it,” said Phillip. “It’s just a bunch of B.S.”

According to the statement, the change is intended to keep the students safe, but some people in the community, like Gibbs Kinderman, want to know why the cost falls on the volunteers.

“You’ve got to be concerned about security in schools, that’s totally legitimate,” Kinderman said. “What I object to is a couple of things.. number one, I can’t believe they’re going to charge people to volunteer to help out in the schools. That just seems totally backwards to me.”

The statement also said volunteers can only pay the fee with a debit or credit card, or cashier’s check.

“Do they think people that are trying to volunteer to help out in the schools are dishonest and would write them a bad check? And low-income people probably don’t have a credit card,” said Kinderman.

Volunteers have two chances to complete the training and background checks, January 16, 2020 and February 3, 2020. Existing volunteers still have to pay for a background check or will be removed from the list.

59News reached out to administrators with the BOE, but none were available for comment. We also called the number at the bottom of the announcement and left a voicemail, but as of 6 p.m. Monday evening, we have not heard back.

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