Alexandria Schools to Be Closed Wednesday on ‘Day Without a Woman'

So many staff members requested the day off that the district was forced to cancel classes

Public schools in Alexandria, Virginia, will be closed for students on Wednesday, March 8 because more than 300 staff members requested leave when the "Day Without a Woman" boycott is set to be held.

So many staff members requested the day off that the school district was forced to cancel classes, a letter sent to parents on Monday said.

"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," the letter said. "It is not based on a political stance or position."

Wednesday is still a workday for teachers, the district said.

The organizers of the Women's March on Washington are calling for a general strike in which women "take the day off from paid and unpaid labor," the group's website says.

"The goal is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the U.S. and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender-nonconforming people continue to face," the website says.

D.C. schools will be open Wednesday, a representative said. 

"While some may plan to attend this week’s walkout on International Women’s Day, all students and staff are expected to be in school throughout the day so that teaching and learning can continue," a statement from the school district said. "We respect the right to self-expression and peaceful protest in support of gender equality. We encourage staff and students to use this as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women through classroom discussion and activities."

No closure of Fairfax County, Virginia, schools is planned, a district representative said. District officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, are monitoring the situation, a representative said. A representative for Prince George's County, Maryland, schools said there was no information to share.

Alexandria school district officials apologized to families who may now be scrambling for childcare on Wednesday.

"We understand that when schools close there is an impact on families, who may have to find unanticipated childcare. We apologize for this unforeseen burden on parents and thank you for your patience and understanding," the letter said.

Some of the district's early childhood and after-school programs will operate on a normal schedule. See the district's website for more information.

People across the country participated in "A Day Without Immigrants" event Feb. 16 to protest Trump's immigration policies and show the importance of immigrants in our daily lives. Many D.C. restaurants closed for the day.

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