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Some schools nationwide will close due to 'A Day Without A Woman' protest

Some schools nationwide will close due to 'A Day Without A Woman' protest
Posted at 3:08 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 18:11:16-05

While many school districts are not planning for any disruptions on Wednesday, a few districts nationwide have decided to shutdown for the day during the "A Day Without A Woman" protests. 

The protests are modeled after similar rallies, including last month's "A Day Without Immigrants" protests, which caused some businesses across the nation to close. 

The protests are in conjunction with a longstanding holiday known as International Women's Day, which is on March 8 annually. The United Nations adopted the holiday in 1977. 

A Day Without A Woman organizers are encouraging all women to take the day off of their jobs on Wednesday. Given that 76 percent of teachers in public school in the United States are female, a mass walkout could cause havoc for schools. 

The 15,000 students who go to school in Alexandria, Virginia will have the day off on Wednesday. The school district, which employs nearly 2,400 people, had 300 requests for the day off. 

"This is not a decision that was made lightly," Alexandria Schools said in a statement. "We have been closely monitoring requests for leave on March 8, including communicating with school leaders and our education association. The decision is based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms, and the impact of high staff absenteeism on student safety and delivery of instruction. It is not based on a political stance or position."

School leaders in Chapel Hill, NC came to the same decision when administrators asked principals to gauge the number of call-offs the district should expect for Wednesday. 

"While Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools values and supports its female employees, the decision to close schools is not a political statement. It is entirely about the safety of students and the district’s inability to operate with a high number of staff absences," the district said in a statement. 

Inevitably, both districts have received a lot of feedback in support and in opposition to the decision to halt classes on Wednesday.

"Sorry this isn't a holiday and leave can be denied. Do you think female nurses, police officers, doctors etc.. can just decide to take the day off. March on your own time," Jeannie Fauntleroy wrote to the district in Alexandria

"Proud of our wonderful staff and teachers for taking a stand, as always," Josie Beets wrote. "This is what a day without women looks like -- I hope some in the halls of power will take notice."