Durham, Wake schools plan to be open during Wednesday protest

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham Public Schools has decided classes will not be canceled Wednesday, despite a nationwide protest.

‘A Day Without A Woman’ is a strike for equal rights and many women and supporters across the country are expected to participate.

“Imagine everyone just showing up here tomorrow and there’s no school,” said Jessica Jones.

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Jones has a child at Fayetteville Street Elementary School.

While classes are on for Wednesday, Jones hopes the staff will show up.

“I’m not really sure what to expect as far as whether or not teachers are going to be here,” she said. “We’ll see, I hope my daughter’s teacher is here.”

In an email to staff, superintendent Dr. Bert L’Homme said child care was a key consideration.

“Just as many of our low-income families have difficulty finding child care during an inclement weather day, having an unscheduled teacher workday on Wednesday would create an additional hardship and safety concern for our out-of-school students and their families,” L’Homme said.

One woman said that she disagreed with opening the schools.

“A snow storm comes up, or the power goes out in the school system, or something tragic, they (parents) would have to find somewhere for them to go anyway,” said Lillie Mitchell.

Mitchell says keeping schools open Wednesday during the protest, isn’t a good idea.

“A lot of men take for granted that women don’t do anything,” she said. “We go out to work, we have to take care of the household, we have to budget money. We have to do everything.”

Wake County students will also have school Wednesday.

Last week, the Chapel Hill-Carboro school district decided to cancel classes because of the protest.

“This could be helping them in the long run, especially the female mother, ya know,” said Mitchell.

But, Jones says having class Wednesday is helpful.

“Above even just being a woman, I have to think about my kids and what’s best for them, and what’s best for the community and that’s keeping the school open because it would just be way too much of an inconvenience,” she said.

The superintendent is encouraging all staff to wear red for support.

L’Homme is asking teachers to come up with ways to teach the importance of fairness and social justice to students while they are in class Wednesday.

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