WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Schools will close on May 1 due to the anticipated teacher rally in Raleigh, according to a member of the board of education.
The school district later issued a news release confirming that classes will be canceled on May 1, which will be an optional teacher workday for teachers and staff.
As of Tuesday, New Hanover County Schools said 440 teachers are expected to attend the Raleigh rally.
“Closing schools on May 1st is a difficult decision. Our students lost nearly three weeks of school after Hurricane Florence, and we do not want them to have to miss any more time; however, with over 400 teachers and staff, who have already put in leave requests and more are expected, we cannot safely operate the schools on May 1st,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley.
Markley added that the board has expressed support for teachers and their issues, but were disappointed with the fact that students will have to miss another day of school. It’s unclear if May 1 will have to be made up. That decision will be announced at a later date.
Brunswick County Schools announced last week that the district will cancel classes for students on May 1. It will be an optional, non-instructional workday for all staff.
Pender County Schools announced last week that they are proposing a compromise to send two staff members from each school to represent the district so classes wouldn’t have to be canceled.
A spokesperson for Pender County Schools on Wednesday said the district is continuing to monitor requests for leave on May 1 and intends to have school on that day. The district is still pushing for the compromise plan so classes won’t have to be canceled.
“Further evaluation and a final decision will be made later this week in regards to the situation,” the spokesperson added. “Pender County Schools will update parents, stakeholders and the community when more information becomes available.”
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.