Veterans upset Livingston Parish schools open Memorial Day

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Livingston Parish's decision to hold classes on Memorial Day is not sitting well with some veterans in the parish.

Lynn King and Douglas Ducote are military veterans who live in Walker preparing to remember fallen heroes on the holiday with a bad taste in their mouths.

"It's a slap in the face to us," said Ducote.

King and Ducote are upset with the Livingston Parish School Board's decision to hold classes on Memorial Day. They say the choice is disrespectful to those who died while serving their country.

"We've got a lot of outrage in this parish from our veterans because of this and we have 7,000 veterans in this parish. My phone's been ringing off the hook since Saturday," said King.

Livingston Parish School Superintendent John Watson declined an on camera interview, but told WAFB by phone the decision to have school on Memorial Day was made and publicized by the school board well over a year ago.

In a statement Watson says, "This is the first year we have been in school this late in May in a number of years. Please also be aware that we are traditionally in school on Veterans' Day and our schools do an excellent job of recognizing our veterans at that time with programs involving our veterans. We have been honoring our veterans in this manner for many years."

Watson adds that veterans will be remembered Monday with a moment of silence and flags at half staff, but Ducote says it's too little too late.

"I think had it not been for the outrage of the veterans in Livingston Parish to be calling them and expressing concern over this, then I don't believe they'd be doing anything different come Monday then they would any other day of the week," said Ducote.

King agrees and wishes school board members would have picked another regularly scheduled day off instead.

"Give up a blizzard day. Give up another day at Christmas time or whatever but don't disrespect our dead veterans like this. Don't do it," said King.

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