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Denham Springs teachers get a glimpse of classrooms after flood

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DENHAM SPRINGS – Denham Springs High School teachers saw their classrooms for the first time on Tuesday since last week's flood.

Some teachers, like Chris McCleary who has taught math for 20 years, saw the aftermath of flood waters for the first time.

"It was a lot of fear...fear of what it's going to be like when they are done with it, fear of the things I've lost," McCleary said.

After days of cleaning and safety inspections, teachers got a chance to go inside the building. The damage was emotional with brand new textbooks, calculators and supplies ruined.

"You don't really realize what you've lost until once you take everything out of the shelves and see all of the things your former students have done..it's like a home to me," McCleary said.

However, even amongst the damage, some cherished memories were salvaged.

"We did get to save some things, these posters of my former students, you know if I could sum up one year, one momento to keep from all of my students, these have got to be them," McCleary said.

When teachers returned back to school, they knew were not going to be alone in the task.

"When we opened the doors today we had almost 250 people here to help," Steve Parrill, Livingston Superintendent, said.

"We specifically said, if your house was impacted by the flood, and you couldn't come, don't come, but they came anyway," Parrill said.

Hundreds of teachers in the parish came together to support one another and shared a lesson of unity. Teachers say that won't be the last lesson they teach as they move forward.

"I just need a chalkboard, a piece of chalk, and I'm ready to teach some math," McCleary said.

Livingston Parish school teachers will continue to help on Wednesday before moving on to other flood damaged schools in the area.

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