Upcoming teacher rally forces schools to cancel for the second consecutive year
The Daily Reflector
Friday, April 19, 2019
Pitt County public school students will get an extra day off after spring break due to an educators rally at the General Assembly.
Pitt County Schools students, who are on spring break from today until April 29, will miss school again on May 1. School officials said there is no makeup day required.
This is the second consecutive year that Pitt County Schools has canceled classes because of the number of teachers planning to attend the rally. Thousands of teachers across the state seeking more pay and school funding rallied in Raleigh on May 16, 2018.
School officials reported that after considering the number of leave requests compared to the number of available substitutes, there was no choice but to cancel school on the day of this year's rally as well.
“After much consideration, we have determined that due to a severe lack of adequate supervision, we will not be able to operate schools safely on May 1st,” reads a statement issued by Pitt County Schools on Wednesday.
Pitt County Schools Early College High School and Innovation Early College High School will remain open for students.
“This has been a difficult decision to make,” Superintendent Ethan Lenker said in a statement.“Teachers are rallying for the very things we’ve been lobbying for as well. We value our educators and the issues they’re fighting for. We also have an obligation to our parents to provide excellent instruction to students and timely communication.”
School Board Chairwoman Anna Barrett Smith said the district regrets the strain that the unexpected closing could place on families.
“However, student and staff safety have to be our top priority, and we are not confident that we can operate safely on May 1st with the number of anticipated teacher absences,” she said.
May 1 will be an optional teacher workday for county schools' staff, and no athletic events will be canceled.