It turns out that Chapel Hill, N.C., deserves some credit for its foresight in making the decision in advance to cancel school in anticipation of today’s “Day Without Women” strike. It seems other districts were ill-prepared for how many teachers on their staffs would rather march than teach. The resulting school closures have have created quite the dilemma for parents of young children who rely on daycare when school is out.
Several school districts across the country are closing to allow staff and teachers the chance to participate. While some people in those communities applauded district leadership for the show of solidarity, others criticized them for leaving working families scrambling to find childcare.
Parents in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland were especially irate after the district announced school closures at the last minute on Tuesday night.
“This is absolutely infuriating and uncalled for. Who gets punished here? The students. Especially those students who rely on the schools for food during the day. And never mind the fact that you’ve inconvenienced parents who now have to scramble for daycare at the last possible minute,” one person said on the district’s Facebook’s page.
The article observes that the complaints are reminders of a “broader debate” over whether the strike is inclusive or elitist. In other words, what if the strike ends up pitting the grievances of the haves (those who can afford to take the day off without pay) against those of the have-nots?
One individual in a “position of privilege” (CNN’s words) is sympathetic:
I’m fortunate enough to have a job that will let me take paid leave to care for my son during an unexpected day off…. But many parents are not in that position.
Will today turn out to be the day when “A Day Without Women” butts heads with “A Day Without Immigrants”?
A second CNN article that ran yesterday addresses an even more unpalatable angle to the protest. Namely, “What if Trump isn’t the problem? What if it’s us?”