More school districts close ahead of AllOut Rally

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)- Another school district has announced that they will be canceling classes after too many teachers and staff requested off for the #AllOut Rally at the State House.

Richland District One said that they’re turning the school day into a work day for safety reasons.

Less than 24 hours before the announcement was made the school board held a special called board meeting to discuss safety after more than 500 teachers and staff put in time off. That number grew over night.

“We’ve had over 700 teachers and others that have requested leave,” Superintendent Dr.Craig Witherspoon said. “At that point we did make the call to close for students because we wanted to be able to safely supervise and monitor and with the numbers we weren’t able to do that.”‘

Safety isn’t the only reason the doors are staying open for teachers and staff.

Witherspoon tells ABC Columbia that the district wants to make sure everyone gets paid across the board.

“Typically if it’s a non student day our bus drivers and cafeteria staff don’t come in, so they wouldn’t get paid,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon says he supports the teachers cause.

“We all support teachers and their advocacy in terms of additional pay, working conditions, testing and those types of things,” Witherspoon said.

The school board plans on discussing how and when students will make up the missed day.

The district also announced that they’re giving out free lunches to students from 10:30 until 12:30. For a list on locations click here.

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