Lack of Air Conditioning in School Is No Big Deal

Rant 55

school classroomAt the risk of sounding like one of those "I walked to school in the snow with no shoes" sermons we've all heard from our grandparents at one time or another, I'm completely aghast at a story out of Oklahoma in which parents are outraged because their precious babies are being made to attend class with no air conditioning. In MARCH.

According to KOCO, some parents in Oklahoma City are complaining that the school district won't turn on the A/C until April 15. Yes, temperatures have been unseasonably high this year, but not that high. It's been in the high 70s there, but you'd think the kids were being baked based on the reactions of some parents.

Parent Lauri Anderson told the station her daughter, 5, was in a terrible state after being subjected to the high heat.

She was nauseous and had a headache last night. Her head hurt, her tummy hurt, she was thirsty. When I picked her up, she was drenched in sweat and had a red face.

Please. I grew up in Nebraska, and my grade school had no air conditioning. Ever. We went until June, and if we were lucky, the teacher would open the windows. It was hot, but we survived; and I'm sure these kids in Oklahoma will too.

It's just another example of overzealous parents who try to pad and pamper their children's entire lives instead of letting them learn to tough things out. I'm certainly guilty of it sometimes too, but for the most part, I think my kids need to learn to sweat and get a few blisters here and there, because that's what's going to prepare them for real life.

I can't tell you how many hot, stuffy board rooms I've sat in for meetings throughout my career, dying from the heat or shivering from the cold. Conditions aren't always optimal, and the sooner we learn to adapt and power through anyway, the better off we'll be.

I'm glad there is air conditioning in schools in general. It's one less distraction for kids, and hopefully that leads to a little bit of greater learning. But learning to be adaptable is even more important, and I think these kids -- and more importantly, their parents -- need to learn to suck it up and stop complaining for the next couple of weeks ... and beyond.

Would you be upset if your children had to attend school with no air conditioning? Do you think parents today try to pad their children's worlds too much?


Image via -Marlith-/Flickr

activities, education, elementary school


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corri... corrinacs

I think this article is missing something super important.  Was the central fans on?

For those children with breathing issues, this would be detrimental.  Part of the reason you have AC is to move the air around, to disprise oxygen a little more evenly throughout the building.  There's a reason buildings keep the air moving all tiems of the year.

I don't konw what the parents said, and sure its not THAT HOT!  But there should have been some sort of air circulation goingo n.

Loref... Lorefield

You obviously never had a kid suffer heat stroke then. I am so not a helicopter mommy, but I do expect that my daughter will be kept in a safe environment. Kids who have suffered heat stroke are more likely to suffer again, and under less hot conditions as the original incident. In order to not die, my child has to have access to AC when it gets hot.

nonmember avatar Jae

Hey Julie! I bet if your precious children lived in Arizona (where I live), you'd be singing a different tune.

Imagine your kids sitting in a classroom, or yourself in the board room when it's already 112 outside with the entire system shot. Not only is this illegal, but it's also f&^%!ng stupid.

dearg76 dearg76

I think that before you write an article in which you critize people you really should understand all the facts. I live in Arkansas - right next door to Oklahoma for those who don't know where we are. Both states have HIGH Humidity - not as bad as some places in Lousiana but none-the-less very high Humidity. This month has been very very warm, I don't typically turn on the AC until late May - mid June depending if we can get a nice breeze going, but I've already had to turn on the AC-ugh!

And just so you know we have already had several days that hit mid 80's not just the upper 70's. Very bad omen for this summer.  No real winter to kill all the bugs + no spring = Bug infested overgrown HOT Dry Summer. Misquitoes are already out if you can beleive that. I had to spray for Wasps already.

Hopefully these schools have opened up their windows to let the fresh air in, so it won't be so blistering hot in the buildings.


OoOJa... OoOJanisOoO

I think it just depends on how hot it is. It seems unlikely that it could get that hot and the teachers wouldn't complain.

BriLee BriLee

I has heat exhaustion asthma growing up. Being in a room without air movement could have sent me to the hospital. If the kids were getting sick and red faced from sitting in their classrooms then yes the air should have been on. I understand the district not budgeting for a/c in March but too bad. The health of the kids is more important. Plus, of the kids are so darn hot then how are they supposed to learn?

You also have to realize that it may be 70 outside but much hotter inside with the rooms soaking in the heat from outside and the 30 little bodies sitting there.

I believe this is a valid concern and shouldn't be blown off.

Miche... Michelephant

After reading the article I checked the weather in Olahoma City.  This week has been fluctuating between highs of 83 and 87 degrees.  The higs usually occur right around 2pm, when children are in school.  And some of those days have thunderstorm warning which means no open windows to let in a breeze.  If kids are becomeing physically ill, especially kids under 10, then the air should be turned on.  Letting kids 'tough it out' through symptoms of dehydration just isnt responsible.  It isn't pampering to prevent kids from feeling ill when it could be easily prevented.

nonmember avatar Stacey

I'm a first grade teacher (and parent) in a school with no A/C. I know we will never get A/C and that's fine. But in a school that has A/C, and they don't turn it on in high temps? Silly! The pressure is on today for all students to pass state testing and it all falls onto the teacher without any extra support to make sure every child is successful. Teachers can't control if kids get food, sleep, or even safety at home, but we should provide an environment where they can learn and be productive at school. Why would you not want kids to have every chance to be successful when you can do something so simple as turn on the A/C??? I'm guessing the author has never tried teaching subtraction to 30 hot, tired 6 year olds. Try it out before you judge!

nonmember avatar jamie

If it's in the mid-70's outside, it's probably hotter inside don't ya think? If the kids are coming out hot and sweaty with a red face, then it's time to turn on the a/c. What if it were the same inside your workplace? Would you want to go in to a hot building day in and day out? You'd be complaining too. But because it's kids, they aren't allowed to complain? I keep my thermostat set on 72 so I'd expect it to be similar for my kids. Luckily I home school so I don't have to worry about it! But I grew up in OK, and currently live in GA. I'd want a/c in either place!

nonmember avatar Soumya

I live in India, and well, VERY few schools here have air-conditioning. They're the private schools and aren't cheap compared to the non-air conditioned schools. Temperatures in India are way way way higher compared to anywhere in America, yet nobody complains and so, I find this amusing to read!

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