By: Olivia Cohen and Brooke Bauman
In conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, the CHCCS district has preemptively turned Wednesday into an optional teacher-work day. The decision, while not politically affiliated, received a wide range of reactions from parents and students in the district.
“Women across the nation, as well as men, will be participating in a one-day demonstration to recognize the value of women,” said Interim Superintendent Jim Causby. “As part of this demonstration, many will be staying home from work.”
While lots of schools across the nation are affected, most are choosing not to shut down for the day. CHCCS on the other hand, will close due to potential safety issues.
“It is my determination that we will not have enough staff to safely run our school,” said Causby. “While Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools values and supports its female employees, the decision to close schools is not a political statement. It is entirely about the safety of students and the district’s inability to operate with a high number of staff absences.”
Many students and staff from the district are thrilled to hear about the school’s brief closure.
“I strongly support the equality movement, that is equality for all people not simply the genders,” said teacher Chelsey Paulsen. “As I identify female, it is easy for me to see the inequalities that exist for women. I’m hoping that awareness will be raised about such inequalities and that changes will start to occur to eliminate them.”
Despite the happiness of some, others argue that the closure is inconvenient for parents, and interrupts the limited days of learning. While these valid concerns do affect many around the district, some teachers believe that the school’s closure teaches an important lesson.
“Our first job as educators is not to teach Calculus, Biology, World History, or even Latin. Our first priority as educators is to teach our students how to be responsible adults and productive citizens,” said teacher Jennifer Hoffman. “How could showing our youth that we stand for something greater than ourselves be a bad thing?”
“People can donate/support organizations that benefit them such as Planned Parenthood. Also, the upperclassmen at our school are holding bake sales around town,” said junior Eleanor Murray.
Photo courtesy of CHCCS