In the first open call of its kind issued since protests began in Iran this month, the Coordinating Council of Teachers' Cultural Associations has invited both educators and students to go on strike this Monday and Wednesday.
Demonstrations continued on Sunday for a tenth night after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old killed by the morality patrol in Tehran, died in hospital on Friday, September 16.
The protests have been met with lethal force from police and state security agencies, with at least 80 people reported to have been killed so far.
In a statement, the Council declared: “The repressive apparatus of this government, whose entire media and propaganda efforts have been directed toward showing that Mahsa [Amini] died a natural death, is not afraid of the contradiction of shooting innocent people in the streets.
"Some of the country's schools have been turned into military bases to suppress the protesting people. Many of the arrested youth are high school students, who have never been to university but have gone through the experience of solitary confinement in prison."
The Council went on to say it “strongly condemned” the violent action taken by the state against protesters, especially students, and asked all working and retired educators to stand in defence of them this week.
Students and teachers of all walks of life as well as other education sector staff are being asked not to go into classrooms on Monday and Wednesday.
The statement also called on police to “put down their guns” and invited other public sector professionals, such as lawyers, athletes, government workers and members of the armed forces, to stand by the protesters.
“The death of Mahsa Amini showed that members of different social strata are strongly opposed to the mandatory hijab, which does not even hold religious validity,” the Council said. “It is to be expected that the students of Iran, especially the courageous women, insist on their legal and inherent rights, and continue to appropriately demand them.”