Brunswick County Schools to close for students on May 1 due to rally

Brunswick County Schools to close for students on May 1 due to rally
Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Thousands of teachers rallied the state capital seeking a political showdown over wages and funding for public school classrooms. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) (Source: Gerry Broome)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County Schools will be closed for all students on May 1 due to the planned teachers rally in Raleigh, the school system announced Thursday.

As of Monday, around 150 Brunswick County teachers had requested the day off to attend the rally, according to officials.

“Due to the number of teachers who have taken leave on this day and the inability to provide the number of substitutes necessary for normal operations, we cannot ensure sufficient instruction or supervision for our students on May 1st," said Daniel Seamans, chief communications officer for Brunswick County Schools.

“While we fully support teacher rights, Brunswick County was impacted by Hurricane Florence far greater than many of the school systems across the state who have educators taking part in the events," Seamans said. "This will ultimately be a 20th and 23rd(Bolivia/Town Creek) day of missed instruction for Brunswick County students.”

May 1 will be an optional, non-instructional workday for all staff:

  • Certified Staff: This group of employees includes anyone paid on the certified staff pay scale. Certified staff members can choose from three options. 1) Report to work; 2) Request in advance and take eligible leave(personal leave without deduction or annual leave); or 3) Take the day off without pay.
  • Non-certified Staff: This group of employees includes Central Services staff members, teachers assistants and any staff member who uses time sheets. Bus Drivers should not report to work. Non-certified staff can choose from three options: 1) Report to work; 2) Request in advance and take eligible leave(annual leave, accumulated comp time leave or accrued compensatory time); or 3) Take the day off without pay.

Brunswick County joins a list of at least 15 school districts and two charter schools across the state that have canceled classes due to the rally.

The North Carolina Association of Educators, which is organizing the May 1 event, held a similar rally last year, which drew an estimated 19,000 people and closed more than 40 school systems, WRAL reports.

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