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National City Teachers Push For Cooler Classrooms

 
National City Teachers Push For Cooler Classrooms
Posted Friday, September 6th 2013 @ 3pm

photo from media partner 10News

Children at San Diego schools are having to deal with the hot weather in schools that may not have air conditioning.

On Friday, elementary school teachers in National City, handed out fliers to parents asking them to contact the school district for more air conditioners at schools.

The teachers said students should be let out early on extremely hot days.

The National City Elementary Teachers Association said they believe children are suffering.

"The classrooms have been in the mid 90s every day for several hours, kids have complained of stomach aches, headaches, some have vomited," said Linda Cartwright, president of the National City Elementary Teachers Association.

Cartwright is a teacher at Ira Harbison School and said only two out of ten elementary schools in the district have air conditioning in every classroom. Cartwright said she is grateful for the fans and portable air conditioning units, but she said it's not enough.

"It's impossible to have any quality learning going on in the classroom, because all they can focus on is how hot it is, not what's being taught," said Cartwright.

Some parents agreed.

"My daughter is complaining sometimes of a headache when she gets home because it's so hot," said Marjorie Carlos.

The National School District sent 10News the following statement that said,  the board approved moving forward with a 'Facilities Master Plan' in August, which is the first step in providing central air in classrooms. The statement also said the district has implemented its excessive heat plan, which includes limiting physical activity, keeping students hydrated and keeping them out of the sun.

In the San Diego Unified School District, 60 schools are set to get air conditioning this fall. Despite a grand jury report in 1998 showing a need for air conditioning, the majority the district's 208 schools do not have them.

At Scripps Ranch High School, at least one student came home lethargic, listless and showing symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Tyler Tran told 10News the school is allowing water breaks as much as needed, but he said the heat makes it hard for him to concentrate in the classroom.

"There are a couple of fans, but it doesn't help  that much," he said. "It was pretty hot. I was pretty dizzy and we had a test and it was really hard to focus."

Gloria Tran, Tyler's mom, said she wants more to be done.

"How can you not prioritize the health and safety of the children," she said.

Contractors have already put in bids to install air conditioners in San Diego schools and the school board is set to vote on them in October, according to SDUSD.

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