The West Virginia Education Association said its attorneys will file an injunction in Kanawha County Circuit Court challenging changes made to the state’s color-coded county alert map.

Gov. Jim Justice has made an example of politics over science, the latest political changes made most of WV counties to be placed in the green category, the least threat, and no WV county being in the red category, the greatest threat.

“Our members have watched the constant manipulation of the map,” Dale Lee, president of the WVEA, said in the statement Tuesday. “As each rendition failed to provide the desired results sought by our state leaders, additional changes were made. The map manipulation has gone on long enough. Citizens and educators have lost confidence and trust that the changes made to the map are in the interest of safety and public health.”

The West Virginia Department of Education releases the county alert map every Saturday to determine how schools and sports will be handled in the state’s 55 counties the following week. Red, orange, gold, yellow and green colors are used to designate the risk levels for the counties, and the state used a percentage of positive tests and number of cases to determine where counties rank.

Gov. Jim Justice and state officials have tweaked the map multiple times, and the governor has defended the system, saying it is the best way to protect the state’s residents and to encourage them to get tested.

Lee said in his statement that only way to restore confidence in the process and to ensure safety in public schools “is to adopt a new system from independent experts recognized in the field of infectious diseases and public health, such as the original color-coded map from Harvard.”

There currently is an online petition that claims the current state map misrepresents the numbers and is a danger to the state’s residents.

Lee said if a county is too dangerous to have in-person classes with 50 COVID-19 cases and it now has 60 cases “it is still unsafe regardless of the percentages and all the tweaks made to the map.”

The WVEA statement also noted that the teaching population is older and more than two-thirds of the organization’s members stated that either they or someone in their immediate household have conditions that put them at risk.

“Yet we expect them to go to work in conditions that are unsafe and where social distancing cannot be exercised,” Lee said.

Lee said the injunction will be filed in the next few days. He said it will seek to return the state’s color-coded map, which was modeled originally after the Harvard Global model, to reflect the “intent of those national experts regarding the health and safety of our students and employees.”