SAN DIEGO – Besides fan and air conditioners being sold out all over the county due to the heat wave, some parents are outraged that their kids are forced to sit in classrooms without air conditioning.
Parent-Faculty Association president Tracy Jewel said her son passed out after he stood up in class, hitting his head on the floor suffering a concussion.
“By the time I got to the nurses office he was sweating all over,” said Jewel. “His speech was slurred and he started vomiting.”
Her daughter Emily Jewel said it’s unbearable to sit in class at Scripps Ranch High School when the temperature hits 95 degrees.
“It gets really warm and you feel the sweat running down your body,” Emily Jewel said.
Gloria Tran’s son is a freshman at Scripps Ranch and has come home complaining of headaches. She said the school nurse has reported multiple cases of kids being sent home sick.
“It’s not even an issue of academics at that point, it’s an issue of health and safety,” said Tran. “It’s not just our problem, it’s happening all over the district.”
About 2,000 San Diego Unified School District classrooms have no air conditioning. According to Tran, the funding to install cooling systems is available through voter passed Proposition Z and S, but the district has been slow to allocate.
“It’s a question of priority and where you choose to spend your money,” said Tran.
A SDUSD representative said air conditioning for all school campuses is in the works.
“The district does consider it a priority,” said Cynthia Reed-Porter, SDUSD Communications Supervisor.
The district will vote in October to accept bids to begin the installation process. In the meantime, they have activated hot day protocols like hydrating more, and taking cover in shade.
Some parents said that’s not enough. They would rather see classes cancelled during these few days a year of major heat.
“It doesn’t happen that often but when it does I worry about the kids – all kids,” Tran said. “I don’t know what it’s going to take. If it were going to take a child to die for something to happen and that would be very tragic.”
Once the Board votes to accept the bid for air conditioning, it will take about 18 to 24 months to implement.