SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — A nationwide protest to show the importance of immigrants on Thursday (Feb. 16) is closing businesses in Northwest Arkansas.
Immigrants and supporters planned to strike Thursday for A Day Without Immigrants, a protest loosely organized by social media and word of mouth.
Several schools throughout the area reported lower than average school attendance, including the Springdale School District. On Thursday, 30 percent of students in the Springdale School District were absent. The district attributed the higher than average absentee rate to the protest.
About 22 percent of students in the Rogers School District are absent, compared to the normal average of six percent, said Ashley Siwiec, RPS communication director. She said the absences are likely tied to the protest.
The Fort Smith school district also reported an increased absentee rate on Thursday, but will not tie it to a specific reason.
Restaurants and businesses were also affected by the protest, with several shutting their doors completely. Amega Quality Insurance in Springdale posted a sign saying that it shut its doors on Thursday in support of the Hispanic community.