Classes canceled at Chapel Hill-Carrboro to coincide with 'women's strike'

Posted March 2, 2017 4:54 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2017 12:06 a.m. EST

— Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools have announced that classes will be canceled for students on March 8 because of an expected high rate of teacher absences due to a planned national demonstration.

The strike, dubbed "A Day Without a Woman" by organizers, coincides with International Women's Day. According to the Women's March Website, women are encouraged to take the day off work, exclusively shop at "small, women and minority owned businesses," and wear red in solidarity.

Demonstrations could resemble the massive turnout at many Women's marches like this one, the day after Inauguration Day.

The protest was inspired by the "Bodega strike" in New York City and the Day Without Immigrants across the country.

District officials said that principals and other supervisors have reported that they expect many teachers to be absent Wednesday as part of the national demonstration to emphasize the role of women in national life.

The expected absences would make it difficult to teach students and provide essential services, including transportation and food service, district leaders said.

“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. The decision is made solely to avoid operating school on a day when there are insufficient staff to provide instruction and basic school services,” district spokesman Jeff Nash said in a statement.

Wednesday will be an optional teacher work day, and students will not be required to make up the day. All athletic events will occur as scheduled.

In addition, a previously scheduled delayed opening on March 9 has been canceled. Thursday will be a full day of school for all students.

As of Thursday, Chapel Hill-Carrboro is the only School District cancelling classes because of the national women's demonstration.