Two school districts, one in Virginia, and one in North Carolina, and at least one preschool in New York, are being forced to cancel classes for Wednesday, March 8th due to the latest women's march "Day Without A Woman," after hundreds of female employees either asked for time off or threatened not to come to work.
According to Time, classes for 16 public schools in Alexandria, Virginia, were cancelled after more than 300 school staff members requested the day off. In a statement on the school system's website, district officials said that the cancellation was not about "a political stance or position" but "was based solely" on their "ability to provide sufficient staff" to cover all of their classrooms. District officials also said that high employee absenteeism would adversely affect school safety and "delivery of instruction."
Parents in Virginia shared their displeasure with the decision on social media. One parent said that she was "disappointed" in the school district's decision to "cave to the massive temper-tantrum" from left-wing groups. This parent said that the only people affected by this decision "are women -- poor women who cannot afford to miss wages or pay for day care." She offered to provide free child care for these women. Some parents had positive comments of support for the decision.
Schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina, are also being forced to cancel classes because district officials decided it would be "impossible to effectively teach given the number of planned staff absences." District officials also said that this was not an endorsement of the march but due to the fact that there is insufficient staff to conduct normal school activities. Staff in that school district are about 78% female and the district has about 23,000 K-12th grade students.
Durham school officials in North Carolina said that classes will continue as scheduled, according to ABC11. School superintendent Bert L'Homme said "Just as many of our low-income families have difficulty finding child care during an inclement weather day, having an unscheduled teacher workday on Wednesday would create an additional hardship and safety concern for our out-of-school students and their families."
L'Homme also said, "In addition, many of our lower-income employees such as bus drivers and child nutrition staff would lose a day of pay if we were closed to students". The superintendent said he would wear red in support and is urging staff to do so as well.
Major teacher unions such as The American Federation of Teachers are not urging teachers to strike that day but have planned to show support for the march by having rallies before and after the school day.
"A Day Without A Woman" is a march planned for International Women's Day. The groups Planned Parenthood and Amnesty International have openly declared support for the march. In a statement from the march's website, the organizers asked women across the country to strike and wear red so that "women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity."
In a tweet, the march said that "on 01/21, we marched, on 03/08, we strike."
On its website, the group included a sample letter for women to give to their employers:
Dear [INSERT NAME OF SUPERVISOR]," The letter to employers reads. "I am writing to inform you that in honor of International Women’s Day, I will not be working on Wednesday, March 8th, as part of the Women’s March’s A Day Without A Woman."
Two of the main organizers of the event are Angela Davis, known Black Panthers supporter, and Rasmea Odeh, convicted terrorist responsible for the deaths of two Hebrew University students in Israel in a 1969 bombing. Odeh illegally gained U.S. citizenship through Immigration Fraud, and her conviction appeal is pending trial.
According to the website, there are 673 events planned throughout the country, and almost five million people committed to participate.
The strike advertises itself as 'militant' and it certainly appears to be. It also has been described by various media as a strike of the privileged, and I agree. The people who will most certainly be impacted on March 8 are the poor women of this country, who face hardships when schools close for any reason, who will have to work harder to cover others' jobs if they took the day off, and who lose pay because of closed school systems and other businesses.
Do you think that the march will draw attention to their cause, or just me viewed as massive temper-tantrum? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.