Due to the high number of expected teacher absences, Wayne County Public Schools announced this afternoon (Thursday) the school system will be closed for all students next Wednesday, May 16. The day will be a teacher workday for staff.
Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore released a statement about closure: “In advance of the May 16 “March for Teachers and Rally for Respect” event in Raleigh, our human resources department spent the past several days closely monitoring local leave requests. As of Thursday morning, we had surpassed 300 leave requests from teachers and classified employees, with that number continuing to climb by the hour. Recognizing that not every substitute teacher in our pool will be available on May 16, along with the fact that many support staff will also be absent to show their support, we simply cannot bring students to school without having adequate staff in place to ensure student safety and supervision.”
“We recognize that anytime there is a school closure, there are a number of issues that arise for parents and the community. We hope that the citizens of Wayne County understand that this decision was not reached lightly. Yesterday afternoon, I did share my plan for closing with individual Board of Education members. While all Board members are in support of teachers, one Board member was not in favor of the closure or the rally scheduled on a school day which is causing teachers and staff to miss work.”
“Wayne County Public Schools supports its teachers, and strives to have the best and the brightest at the head of each classroom. While this closure will cost the district a day of valuable instructional time, I believe those teachers and staff members who requested leave have weighed these costs against the potential outcomes they hope to achieve for all North Carolina public schools by standing in solidarity with their colleagues from across the state on May 16,” Dr. Dunsmore said in the statement.
On Wednesday, Johnston County Public Schools announced they would also be closed on May 16th for the Teacher Rally planned at the NC General Assembly in Raleigh.