Public schools in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Alexandria, Virginia will close this Wednesday after hundreds of teachers requested the day off to participate in this week’s .
“I asked our school principals and central office department heads to survey staff to find out how many absences would occur,” wrote Jim Causby, superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City public school system in North Carolina, . “The results came back, and the number was significant. In fact, it is my determination that we will not have enough staff to safely run our school district.”
After more than 300 staff members requested leave for Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, schools superintendent Alvin Crawley decided not to hold classes with so many teachers absent.
“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” “It is not based on a political stance or position.”
Organized by the coordinators of the Women’s March, the protest has called on women to do three things: stop work (both paid and unpaid labor), don’t shop (except at small minority- and women-owned businesses), and wear red. They also ask that women give any of their own employees a paid day off.
A smattering of have they will
The New School in New York and a Brooklyn preschool heir doors in solidarity as well. At the University of California, Berkeley, at least 30 professors and instructors will either take their classes to a demonstration in support of the strike or will not hold “business as usual” classes, according to Natalia Brizuela, an associate professor there involved with the day’s organizing.
No other school districts have reported closures so far. Spokespeople for the New York City and Los Angeles public school systems said regular staff absence policies will apply for the day.
After 1,700 teachers in Prince George’s County Maryland and thirty percent of the transportation staff , the CEO of the D.C.-area district decided to close all schools for the day.
“Throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools, a high number of school-based and support staff have requested leave for tomorrow, which would compromise our ability to transport students and provide safe, productive learning environments,” “As a result, schools will be closed Wednesday, March 8 for students. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Please note that our leave requests significantly increased today, leading to this decision.”
Maxwell said, based on the school district’s policies, the County Board of Education has no political stance on the “Day Without a Woman” protests.
Other perspectives on this story
Some people are concerned that the ability to strike is a privilege that many women don't have.
Some argue that these teachers aren't really striking because they coordinated with their employers.
Discussion is lively in r/Teachers, where many think this is unfair to students and their education.
Some say that this kind of protest not effective because it doesn't have specific goals.
A lot of people who aren't participating by leaving work plan to promote discussion of women's issues by other means.
Lots of people are supportive of the teachers taking time off to protest too, and are hopeful it could be helpful.
“I'm not supporting the strike b/c it's classist. The school closures impact working moms who don't have the luxury to strike.”
This r/TwoXChromosomes user thinks it's inappropriate to describe these teachers as going on strike.
“it's a use of earned benefits. Calling it a strike is an insult to any woman who has ever walked a picket like.”
This Social Studies teacher points out that many families count on school meals.
“a lot of kids depend on the free breakfast and lunch, so shutting the school down would really hurt the children.”
This user worries the protest lacks a coherent platform or message.
“I usually support things like this, but have a hard time finding the will to participate without a concrete demand. Without a demand/win condition, the protest seems pointless. The Women's March movement needs to get more comfortable with moving beyond a nebulous platform to specifics.”
This teacher is using Wednesday as an opportunity to talk about these things with her students.
“There are like 5 men in my building so if the women all took off they'd have to close…And I know thats the point, to show that things dont work without the work and contributions of women, but I dont think the protest will necesarily make that change. I will spend some time talking about…how the political and economic systems impact women. But my main priority is to teach my kids and I need to be there to do that.”
"I don't think this one day will solve all issues, but I think it is a great conversation starter to begin making changes."
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