POSTED: Monday, May 26, 2014 - 1:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 2:43pm
DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (NBC33) — Many school students had the day off today, but classes were in session in Livingston Parish. I caught up with one parent who says, his kid shouldn't have been in class because it's disrespectful.
"This country is what it is because people have been willing to sacrifice for it, and today, Livingston Parish School District is spitting in the face or every veteran of this country, whether they're alive or dead," said the veteran.
This dad did not want to be identified, but had no problem protesting on the side of North Range Ave., across from Denham Springs High School. He said this story is not about him. It's about respect.
He's mad his son is taking final exams on Memorial Day.
"My wife and I assumed that he was going back to school Tuesday, and he let us know last night that he had an exam today. It actually caused an argument because I was you know I was, there's no way you're going to school, it's Memorial Day!" said the veteran.
He served in the United States Marine Corps.
"I really don't know how to express how angry I am about this," he said.
He set up shop. He put up signs because he wants the Livingston Parish School Board to know he's upset, and feels like keeping schools open on Memorial Day shows a total lack of respect.
"I'm upset about it. I didn't figure going into the school and throwing a fit would do anything but get me in trouble," he said. "So, I parked across the street and made some signs and I just want people to understand, to ask 'why?'"
The Livingston Parish School Assistant Superintendent said they had no choice. Extra state accountability testing and graduation schedules forced the school system to push back the school year.
"Mardi Gras was important enough for them to have two days off, and yet the day that's set aside to honor the men and women that have died for this country, aren't important enough to give these kids a day off from school to honor them?"
This dad hopes the people who saw him protesting will see his side of the story.
"Maybe I can open some eyes. Maybe enough people will see it so that at the next school board meeting, we can make sure that this doesn't happen again," he said.
The School System officials we talked with said there's no disrespect intended. They said Livingston Parish students, teachers, and parents have known about the school calendar all year long.