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Chapel Hill school system to close ahead of protest

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CHAPEL HILL (AP) -- "A Day Without Women" will mean a day without class for students in one North Carolina school system.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School announced Thursday that it is declaring March 8 as an optional teacher workday, which means no classes for students.

According to a statement, the system began hearing from staffers who said they wouldn't be coming to work on International Women's Day, which is also the day designated for the national protest designed to emphasize the role of women. The system says as the day drew closer, the number of staff saying they'd be absent was "significant," but officials didn't provide a specific figure.

The statement said the move isn't political, but instead involves student safety and the inability to operate with a high number of staff absences.

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