School systems in Wake and Johnston counties won’t follow the Chapel Hill-Carrboro system in canceling classes on Wednesday, which has been proclaimed as “A Day Without a Woman.”
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Superintendent Jim Causby announced Thursday that next Wednesday would be changed from a school day to a teacher workday because of the political protest, which coincides with this year’s International Women’s Day. Organizers of “A Day Without A Woman” are encouraging supporters to take the day off from work, to wear red and to avoid spending money at businesses unless they are owned by women or minorities.
But both Wake and Johnston said Wednesday will be a normal school day.
Durham County schools, meanwhile, hasn’t made an official decision yet, spokesman Chip Sudderth said.
“We are discussing the situation on Monday morning,” Sudderth said.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro leaders said they did not endorse the protest, but decided to cancel because principals and other supervisors reported that they expected a high number of staff members to not attend school Wednesday, according to a statement from the district.
Having many employees not in attendance at school would be disruptive to essential services such as transportation and food service, the statement said. Women make up 75 percent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s employees.
In the Wake school system, women make up 80 percent of employees.
Wake’s school policy requires teachers to request leave from their principals and say that a substitute is needed, said Lisa Luten, a district spokeswoman. In some cases, the teacher is also required to pay for the substitute, which costs about $50 for each day a teacher misses.
In Johnston County, women make up 81.2 percent of the total workforce, said spokeswoman Tracey Peedin Jones.
A representative from Orange County Schools was unavailable Friday to talk about that system’s plans.
Wednesday’s protest will include a march in Washington, D.C., that is intended to emphasize the role of women.