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Hammond, Indiana Teachers Rally, Complain About Safety Concerns About COVID-19 And Violence

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) -- Angry teachers rallied in Hammond, Indiana Tuesday night, amid concerns about overcrowded classrooms and safety from both COVID-19 and violence.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, it was a packed house as teachers from across the School City of Hammond District held signs and voiced issues directly to the school board.

Teachers say it is impossible to socially distance in oversized classrooms, and those who work for Hammond Central High School say little has been done to address violence.

Last month, two students were shot outside the high school at dismissal. The teachers are calling the school a stressful workplace.

"Not enough teachers – you know, lots of resignations," said Hammond Central High teacher Anita Cox.

At the meeting, a teacher asked the board, "Where are the police officers we were told was going to be there?"

"We passed a higher rate to incentivize Hammond police officers to come work for us, so we're going to be paying them more," said School City of Hammond Supt. Scott Miller. "The second is we approved two contracts to bring in basically non-armed security officers - six at each site."

There are currently 50 teacher vacancies in the district.

Teachers want aides and/or assistants, but that won't happen until the vacancies can be filled first.

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