DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) – Livingston Parish Public Schools announced classes for Denham Springs High School and Southside Junior High will be canceled Thursday, March 30.

The cancellation was determined due to a large number of employees will be absent and school leaders are unable to fill vacancies with qualified personnel.

Online, residents of Livingston parish believe that the staff is “angry” due to the one-cent parish-wide tax vote not passing.

According to Livingston Parish School District Superintendent Joe Murphy, he lost many school employees due to lower pay compared to other districts. This tax would have put them first, region-wide, for the highest-paid teachers and staff in the area.

“The volume of absences that has been declared is greater than we can appropriately manage at this time. This large shortage of employees means campus leadership would not be able to provide a normal learning day for our students, and lacking this many personnel could create a safety concern for students and employees,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “Due to these circumstances, we felt the safest action at this time is to cancel classes on that campus tomorrow.”

Denham Springs principal Wesley Howard said he reached out to multiple substitute teachers, but none were able to meet the need.

“At some point, we knew the district needed to be aware of the challenge our campus was facing,” Howard said. “We knew it was important to let our community know of this concern as soon as possible so they could make alternative plans for their children and/or with their employers.”

As of now, classes are expected to resume Friday, March 31.

The Livingston Parish School Board will have its regular meeting at 5 p.m.