Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools cancel school Wednesday ahead of planned women's strike

Friday, March 3, 2017
Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools cancel school Wednesday ahead of planned women's strike
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools to close Wednesday, March 8 because of anticipated staff shortages.

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools will be closed Wednesday, March 8 ahead of a planned nationwide women's strike. The superintendent expects high staff absences.

Superintendent Jim Causby said the day will instead be an optional teacher workday. Students will not be required to make up this day as the system is on schedule to meet the required number of instructional hours for the school year.

All athletic events will occur as scheduled.

The March 8 strike, deemed "A Day Without Women," is meant to emphasize the role of women in national life. March 8 has been deemed as International Women's Day.

"A Day Without a Woman (recognizes) the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity," stated event organizers on their website.

Organizers hope to stress the contributions women make in daily life, both paid and unpaid. A similar demonstration called "A Day Without Immigrants" took place in February.

READ MORE: Day Without Immigrants protests in Triangle, across US

"I think that's a terrific opportunity to, to support their employees, to serve as role models for children, said Chapel Hill resident Edie Hopfenberg. "I think it shows how people in all walks of life can get involved in the system and make a difference."

Principals and other supervisors said they expect a high rate of staff absences that day, making it difficult to teach or to provide transportation and food services.

"Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools values and supports its female employees. However, the decision to close schools is not an endorsement of the planned demonstration," said Jeff Nash with Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. "The decision is made solely to avoid operating school on a day when there are insufficient staff to provide instruction and basic school services."

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