Students Sweat It Out Without Air Conditioning

DENVER (CBS4)- Thursday’s high in Denver broke a 98-year record. Denver recorded 97 degrees, the previous record was 96 degrees set in 1913.

School started in Denver for most students last week. Many of them sit in classrooms without air conditioning in record-breaking heat.

“Second day of school, I picked her up and she was just dripping. She was so hot,” said parent Lani Kessler. “My concern is when it’s 95 degrees in a classroom at 10:30 in the morning, it definitely impacts the learning experience.”

A few years ago, Morey Middle School Principal Dori Claunch asked about the school’s chances for upgrading to air conditioning.

“You know this building was built in 1921 and it can’t sustain air conditioning throughout the building,” said Claunch.

The staff tries to make the conditions as good as they can.

“Our custodian comes in at 6 a.m. and opens windows in the classrooms. Our teachers are keeping the lights off and the shades pulled. Many of the classrooms have multiple fans going. Teachers can also move outside, allowing water at any time, encouraging kids to hydrate. Shorts are allowed, too,” said Claunch.

“We hope for cool weather. You know, it’s a record high heat right now so it’s unusually warm. So, hopefully we get the weather folks to help us out here.”

  • Michael

    That’s pathetic! The city of Denver should be so ashamed of this situation!

  • Matthew

    I don’t understand why they can’t put in AC. I grow up in Arkansas and the high school that I went to was built in 1929 and it has a AC.

    • Ashley Stone

      I grew up in south Arkansas as well and most schools had AC – however – a few dorms and building at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville do NOT have AC. It is amazing to me how a university of that size with 23,000 students enrolled this year doesn’t have AC.

  • justsane

    this is why school should not begin until after labor day. the districts keep pushing the start of the school year earlier and earlier, in an effort to improve test scores, and what happens? we’ve got kids and teachers either sitting in sweltering buildings with no air conditioning, or, in the more affluent districts, learning in air conditioned class rooms, but what is the increased cost to the taxpayers? either way, csap scores remain flat and there is zero evidence that starting the school year earlier benefits student learning in any way.

  • Rob

    I recently contacted new 4 about another DPS school without air conditioning and it didn’t lead to any kind of action. The name of the other DPS school is Schmitt Elementary. These young kids are experiencing the same conditions as the children at morry middle school. The crayons in the classroom are melting together and when you see the kids come out of the school they to are dripping with sweat and are miserable. I don’t understand how they can expect these poor kids to learn anything when they are sitting in classromms that are as hot or even hotter then it is outside.

  • Rick

    Sorry do you want some cheese with your whine? I went to school in the deep south, no AC at all. We just dealt with it and opened the windows.Amazingly all the students made it out alive. This is not a big deal people…… Much of the world does NOT have AC at home or at school. Get a grip on life you whiners…..

    • ally

      To Rick
      You are so lucky to not to be affected by the temps like mentioned (outdoors); however if the thermometer reaches mentioned digits, only tough like you survive and do well. The majority of humans need lower temps to be able to function accordingly. So, no, no cheese on this wine(whine for you).
      Good luck but don’t you abuse your employees only because you think they can handle the heat; you shall be ruined financially if you assume otherwise.

    • Barbara

      Likewise, the schools I went to were built in the late 1890s. All we had were large windows and transoms over the doors. We weren’t excused from PE or anything else because of the heat and it was not uncommon for temps to stay over 100 until well into Sept. That’s just the way it was. I didn’t have a house with an air conditioner until 1975. It’s uncomfortable, but is it really newsworthy?

  • MC

    This is happening at my daugter’s school in Layton, Utah with one big exception … they HAVE air conditioning and won’t turn it on because they want to save money. It’s completely ridiculous. My daughter feels sick in the afternoons because of it and so do her friends. Hmmm….I wonder if the principal has the a/c turned on in his office ??

  • K

    Hey, I went to school in the 70’s and 80’s…we did not have a/c in Missouri–You don’t NEED it. Yes, we also had those old box fans that moved less air than the heat they produced, drank lots of water, sweat alot, and wore shorts. It’s AUGUST, everyone…the heat/humidity won’t subside until late September or October.

    A/c is a LUXURY–remember–houses did not have a/c in the 70’s either, and most housing in the Greeley, CO & Denver area don’t have a/c anyway…

  • sue

    As a teacher, I don’t think we need air conditioning. We just need school to start after Labor Day. That way we could save energy, money, and be productive. What is the real reason we cannot start school later? Sports, CSAP. Either way, nothing equals the inhumane conditions we are all in.

  • JV

    I went to school in La. and Texas i the 60’s and we never had AC! And yes, no one was harmed by the experience. Just mount some fans!

  • MamaKas

    Grew up in Boston, raising kids in Massachusetts, never had, and still don’t have air conditioning. Always thought it was ridiculous, and a sure sign that teachers and kids are treated like second class citizens. My daughter has complained to me of 95 degree days in the classroom. Icky.

  • Tanya

    Seriously? An article to discuss what a lot of Americans have to deal with in the summer? I work 10 hour days in 105 degree weather without A/C…..for minimum wage. I don’t feel bad for them. Get over it. Welcome to life.

    • Tanya

      Oh, and I’m doing physical work. Not sitting in a desk listening to a teacher talk.

  • Elv

    I have a kid that goes to morey he has come home twice this week with migrane headache because of heat exhaustion. Thru out the year it happens Alot. Drinks water thru out the day but it still happends.

  • Rhonda

    There are alot of people whom dont have air conditioning people. GET OVER IT!!! Kids today are so coddled that they cant even handle a little heat. Quit babying these kids and maybe they will be able to deal with reality a bit more. Fans and windows open are just fine. Sounds like the school is dealing with it the way they should. Lots of water. I think it is the parents who are the biggest whiners!!

  • Linda Ferguson

    Check out Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It states that unless basic needs, like shelter, are in place, other needs, like education, cannot occur. Forcing thousands of children to endure temperatures that are giving them heat stroke will do nothing to improve those test scores. If I were a parent in that district, I’d be suing for child abuse.

  • Brooke

    For the first 13 years of schooll, I attended without any AC. 13 YEARS. My high school was 3 floors, and everyone knows heat rises. My daughter, 9, who now attends in the same school district, comes home sweaty and tired. Its life!!!!! This Danver district shouldn’t be ashamed of theirselves, WE should be ashamed of ourselves. Think about the kids who have to go to school everyday without AC every year!

  • J

    Growing up in Southern California, we had “heat days”. If the temperature reached 90 degrees by 9:00 am, school would get out at noon. All the schools I went to didn’t have AC.

  • Jen

    I grew up in Missouri, with no AC in home or school. However, the office for the principal did have AC. I always thought that was pretty inconsiderate that they left the teachers and studens in the heat, while they basked in the cool air of their office. Soon after I graduated, the public approved funding for school-wide AC, and now it is not a problem. I had no problems, just resentment.

  • Willow

    That can’t be healthy for the kids, especially the ones with asthma. I would think excessive heat would aggravate medical conditions. The school should be given a new building. Or at least, one built within the last 20 years so they can get AC.

  • Kyp

    I can’t believe how wimpy we have become. When I wad in grade school we never had air conditioning and I was in grade school in locations from Florida to California and the Philippines. Plug in some fans and deal with it!

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