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Hammond, Indiana teachers troubled by school closures

Teachers troubled by school closures in Hammond, Indiana
Teachers troubled by school closures in Hammond, Indiana 02:03

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) — Classes will be back in session Thursday in Hammond, Indiana after "excessive call-offs" from teachers Wednesday. 

Public schools were suddenly canceled because too many teachers called in sick, which happened just hours after the district announced the permanent closing of three schools.

The school board's cost-saving move has left many parents unsure about their kids' futures, and many teachers have wondered how they will provide for their families.

Some teachers told CBS 2 that excessive call-offs were their way of protesting in response to the district's approval of a consolidation plan.

Parents and teachers surprised with closure of northwest Indiana schools 02:28

It will close Lew Wallace, Morton, and Kenwood Elementary School.

A financial report provided by one of the board of trustees shows the closure will save the northwest Indiana community around $5.6 million.

Wallace and Morton schools will primarily be used for early childhood services. Kenwood will mainly be used for storage.

Trustees approved the closures with a 3-2 vote.

The financial report shows the closures impacted more than 1,100 elementary school students.

Shayla Austin said her son has delayed speech and gets speech therapy at Lew Wallace throughout the week.

She's fearful her son's progress will be delayed when he goes to another school.

"It brings anxiety to me as a parent because I never want to see my son go backward from where he's grown so much in this school, and it's heartbreaking to see," Austin said.

One of the board members told me nearly 180 teachers will lose their jobs.

However, a district spokesperson said they would end up with jobs at other schools in Hammond.

The report showed that students will be notified in the coming weeks of which school they will attend in the fall.

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