The Alexandria (Va.) school district and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro (N.C.) school district have canceled classes for Wednesday because so many teachers are expected to be absent as they observe what is being called "A Day Without A Woman."
Wednesday is International Women's Day, and activists have decided to stage a demonstration to recognize "the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity."
According to www.womensmarch.com, women are being encouraged participate in one of several ways: taking the day off, from paid and unpaid labor; avoiding shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses); and wearing red in solidarity with the demonstration.
Several teachers have indicated that they will be taking the day off on Wednesday, Alexandria School Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley says in a statement on the district's web site.
"It has come to our attention that...more than 300 staff members have requested leave," Crawley says. "Given the unusually highnumber of requests, this may be attributed to the observance of InternationalWomen's Day....Consequently, [the district] has decided to close schools for students for the day."
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district also has canceled classes for March 8 because principals and other supervisors said they expected a high number of staff members to be absent.