Local teachers defend decision to attend 'A Day Without a Woman' rallies in DC

"A Day Without a Woman" rallies were held on the streets of the nation's capital as International Women's Day was also being observed.

Protesters gathered at the Department of Labor starting at noon and the demonstration continued on to John Marshall Park later in the afternoon. The protest was aimed at pointing out the importance of women in the workforce and to demonstrate what workplaces would be like without women.

Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland, Alexandria City Public Schools and Center City Public Charter Schools in Washington D.C. canceled classes on Wednesday after school officials said many teachers requested the day off causing a staffing shortage for their school districts.

The controversy over the school closings shifted the spotlight from what was supposed to be a day focused on opposing the Trump administration's policies on women, health care, the workplace, choice and education as many teachers attended the D.C. protests.

The school closures did not sit well with many parents who had to scramble to find child care with classes canceled. But many teachers defended their decision to attend these rallies instead of being in the classroom.

"I think it is important for everyone to realize that teachers are a tremendously dedicated group of people and that we do teach our children to make important decisions, and by being here, we are actually modeling that," said Kim Mozzarella.

"I know that I struggled up until last night with my decision," said teacher Betsy Kipperman. "I am really glad I came out. I decided to come because I could and if I didn't come, who was going to come?"

At another protest, a group consisting of more than 40 organizations with different agendas gathered in front of the White House protesting against what they say is the Trump administration's "gag rule" on abortion that could lead to six million unintended pregnancies.