So many teachers in the Alexandria City Public Schools system have requested the day off in support of the “Day Without a Woman” rally on Wednesday, the area’s schools will be closed.
Monday, Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley issued a letter to the parents within the district to inform them of the reasoning behind the cancellation of the scheduled March 8 school day, and insisted the closings were not for political leanings.
“It has come to our attention that as of today, more than 300 staff members have requested leave this Wednesday, March 8,” Crawley included in his letter. “Given the unusual high number of requests, this may be attributed to observance of International Women’s Day. This day has also been deemed A Day Without Women.”
Despite placing an “unforeseen burden on parents,” Crawley insisted he was left with no choice but to close all of the D.C. area’s schools.
The letter said the day will be a “teacher work day” for the staff – or the remaining staff, that is. It will be considered a “snow day” for the students, and they will not have to make up the lost day. He apologized for the “unforeseen burden” on parents.
“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” Crawley maintained. “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.”
Following the highly publicized Jan. 21 protests organized by the Women’s March group, the March 8 preparations are also largely put together by the same feminist outlet. “Day Without a Woman” is meant to overshadow “misogynistic politicians” and encourage all women, men and self-identifying women to speak out against President Donald Trump and the cliched roles of women.
“The idea is to mobilize women, including trans women, and all who support them in an international day of struggle—a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions,” said the Women’s March organization.
Along with Alexandria Public Schools, North Carolina’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District has also cancelled school for March 8, though both districts maintain the cancellation is not “an endorsement of the planned demonstration.”
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