Public schoolteachers walked out of classrooms across the state on Thursday, protesting pay raises that they called too stingy.

Despite warnings that the walkout was illegal, thousands of teachers and support staff members converged at the Capitol in Charleston, seeking to pressure lawmakers who are still considering other proposals to help them financially. It was their first statewide strike since 1990 in West Virginia, where teacher pay ranks 48th in the nation.

Chants of “Do your job so I can do mine” reverberated throughout the Capitol halls, along with other slogans including “55 strong” — a reference to the state’s 55 counties.

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