Unbearable Heat Forces Hudson Valley Students to Sweat it Out in the Classroom
The Hudson Valley was hit with a heatwave this week, just in time for the First Day of School.
Hudson Valley Back-to-School Heat Wave
Anyone who has experienced education in a school building can tell you in the warmer months how uncomfortable temperatures can get. Fans and open windows just don't cut it especially when the parts of the region experienced highs in the 90s this week.
Many parents are taking to social media groups to voice their concerns. In one of the local county Mom's groups, one mother shared that her daughter came home from school with flushed cheeks, a headache and later became physically ill after spending all day in a hot classroom and going outdoors for recess.
Other parents shared that in areas like Danbury, Connecticut, schools went with a half day to bring heat relief to students and teachers. Some schools canceled any outdoor after-school activities as well.
How To Keep HV Schools Cool in Dangerous Heat
Most schools aren't equipped with AC units, which puts students and teachers in uncomfortable learning environments. The New York State United Teachers organization is hoping to find a way to regulate classroom temperatures and they want to hear from you.
Last spring, NYSUT started collecting stories about the unbearable heat in the classrooms. They write:
Many teachers and school-related professionals have been dreading June. It's hot. It’s sticky. Temperatures above 100 degrees are reported. And New York still hasn’t done anything about regulating classroom temperatures for overheating.
Dizziness, dehydration, difficulty breathing are some of the more serious concerns. Lack of concentration, eyes glazed over are others. Nausea, headaches and irritability. Adolescent sweat glands on overdrive can make stuffy rooms even more uncomfortable as perspiration smells overtake rooms.
Sounds like the complaints being shared on social media in September of 2023. One story from Hyde Park schools shares:
In the beginning of the year, it was unbearable in my classroom. The students and I had a very difficult time concentrating on learning. The heat was oppressive! Fans did not help much at all with the humidity. The heat index on several of the days was very high, and it is not healthy for anyone to be without air conditioning on those days. How can children learn when they are sweating, dehydrated, and exhausted from the heat?"
If you or your student has experienced something similar to the story about NYSUT wants to hear from you. You can share your story with the hopes of New York State making moves to cool down classrooms in the future.
Visit NYSUT.org to share your story.