Hammond schools closed Wednesday due to 'excessive call offs'

The School City of Hammond district in Northwest Indiana canceled classes Wednesday due to a lack of staffing. 

The district, which is made up of 16 schools, said they were unable to safely staff their buildings due to "excessive call offs."

In a post on Facebook, the district said class was canceled at all locations. There will be no eLearning. The day will be made up at a future date. 

According to the district's website, they serve 12,099 students and have more than 2,000 employees. 

The district held a school board meeting Tuesday night to discuss school closings. Staff members say Lew Wallace Elementary School is at capacity enrollment.

Lew Wallace was one of the three schools the School City of Hammond Board voted to close for budget reasons. The decision caused heated debate at the recent board meeting.

The School City of Hammond board voted to close Morton and Kenwood Elementary Schools as well to save the district $5.6 million. The district already announced layoffs of custodial staff and teacher aides, in an effort to meet a revenue shortfall.

After Tuesday night’s decision, several district staff members called off.

Patricia Brown likes living across from the school and seeing families each day, 

"That’s just terrible, I feel bad for the parents. A lot of them live within walking distance. Now they have to walk who knows how far, you know. This is crazy," Brown said.

There are neighboring elementary schools, but they are farther away. Bus services could also be cut. The district superintendent said the cuts are necessary to keep the state from taking over the district.