Should Schools Close Early During Extreme Heatwaves? [POLL]
This week, I noticed on the news that schools across the northeast were calling for early dismissals on Thursday and Friday because of the extreme heat. A lot of Ocean County school districts have air conditioning in every school, but many still don't have air conditioning. Should schools close early when the heat reaches dangerous levels or should kids (and teachers) stick it out?
I know first hand how hot a high school can get. I went to Toms River South (class of 2008), and we didn't have air conditioning. I also know that we definitely weren't the only school in the district (or county) without air conditioning.
However, from my experience: I can tell you that by noon on the hot days it was ROUGH to learn throughout the school. The worst part was the upstairs wing. Those rooms could be dreadful in September (and June) on regular 85 degree day. Let alone a day where the air temperatures are pushing 95 (with a heat index over 100*).
I am not speaking as a typical "out of touch" millennial when I say this, but Ocean County schools without air conditioning should consider dismissing early during extreme heat. I understand that many didn't have air conditioning when they were growing up in their schools, and many still don't have it in their homes. Just look at European countries where it's very uncommon. But air conditioning is a modern luxury that has allowed us to grow as a society.
Young minds and teachers shouldn't be forced to suffer in classrooms without air conditioning. Amy from West Creek called the station today, and shared that the school she works in closes if the classrooms go over 100*.
"It's humid. The floors are wet and if you walk you can fall down. The desks are wet. The paper is limp. You put the paper on a desk and try to write, and it disintegrates. Everyone is sobbing and stinky," Amy told me on the phone.
She went on to say that the kids have no minds when it's that hot, and everyone feels sick in their stomachs (not to mention what it can do to mold in the building).
I remember leaving high school drenched in sweat, and NONE of the teacher's lessons had absorbed into my mind on those days. The teachers were even more uncomfortable and agitated by the heat. At least the students we were able to switch classrooms, but teachers were stuck in there all day.
I do understand that budget (and building) restraints may keep it from being added in some schools, so in those cases: the schools SHOULD close early.
What do you think? Should schools close early during extreme heat (like this past week) or should kids (and teachers) stick it out?
When schools do have to close because of weather conditions, WOBM Stormwatch is always available online.