Why These School Districts Are Closing Today

March 7th 2017

Kyle Jaeger

Two school districts have announced that they will be shutting down on Wednesday after hundreds of teachers requested time off in observance of the "A Day Without a Woman" strike, which takes place on International Women's Day.


The Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) in North Carolina and Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) in Virginia released statements about the district-wide closures, NPR reported.

"Women across the nation, as well as men, will be participating in a one-day demonstration to recognize the value of women," CHCCS wrote in a statement March 2. "As part of this demonstration, many will be staying home from work."

Though the district "values and supports its female employees," it added that "the decision to close schools is not a political statement." Rather, the closure was due to "the district’s inability to operate with a high number of staff absences," CHCCS wrote in the statement.

ACPS reported that more than 300 of the district's employees had requested leave Wednesday.

womens march

The school closures highlight the major role women play in public education.

More than 75 percent of public school teachers were women during the 2011-2012 school year, according to National Center of Education Statistics.

In addition to those school districts, a university in New York, The New School, is allowing professors to cancel classes and calling on them to avoid marking students as absent if they've provided advanced notice that they will be participating in the strike, The Huffington Post reported.


The "Day Without a Woman" follows the January's Women's March, which drew more than two million supporters across the world. Participants are pushing for "equity, justic e, and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity," according to the Women's March website .

For supporters who aren't able to take the day off, the strike's organizers are encouraging people to avoid shopping unless it's at small, women or minority-owned businesses, and to wear red in a show of solidarity.