As International Women’s Day kicks off this March 8, reports of school closures across the U.S. are coming in due to the fact that a majority of the teachers, who are women, are participating in the “Day Without a Woman” protest.
According to The Huffington Post, all “16 public schools in Alexandria, Virginia, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina, and at least one preschool in Brooklyn, New York, have canceled classes for International Women’s Day on March 8, anticipating staff shortages.”
Schools in Prince George's County, Maryland will be closed on Wednesday after 1,700 teachers say they will join 'Day Without a Woman' strike
— BNO News (@BNONews) March 8, 2017
The protest, which was organized by the same people behind the historic Women’s March on Washington, is sending a powerful message regarding the immense role women play in education. As a New York Times report from 2014 points out, more than three-quarters of elementary to high school-level teachers in the U.S. are women.
The strike is also affecting higher education institutions. The New School, a university in New York, announced support for the strike after nearly 20 female faculty members wrote a letter to their colleagues urging them to cancel classes. The school granted faculty members “flexibility” in canceling classes and urged all managers to be “as receptive as possible” to any staff who participate. Leadership also effectively gave students a green light to miss class.
Teachers who are not in a position to participate by staying home are being encouraged to show up the workplace wearing red to show their solidarity.
“I’d likely lose my job if I just didn’t show up,” teacher Rachel Wright said to HuffPo.
“So, I will wear red, not spend money and incorporate a lesson about Women’s History Month.”