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Elementary school students face hot classrooms

By Jordan Hall
By jhall@wbbjtv.com

NORTH JACKSON -- With a heat index of nearly 100 degrees on Monday, some students at Andrew Jackson Elementary School had no air conditioning.

The air conditioning went out in all first-grade classrooms last Thursday at the school.

"It is difficult, but we've adapted. We're letting the children get water as they need it. We're taking breaks in the cooler part of the building, and we've obviously got fans running," said first-grade teacher Stephanie Cruzen.

They also have had problems in one of their fifth-grade classrooms. That class has been moved to the computer lab.

Principal Ramona Dorsey said the students' health is her main concern.

"I don't want my children to be miserable and dehydrated. We have some students with asthma, and they may get overheated as well. So for the safety and health of our children, I want them to be able to leave that hot classroom," Dorsey said.

Educators said they hoped the air conditioning would be fixed Monday after it went out last week, but say even though there's no air conditioning, students are still learning.

"It could be worse. There could be worse conditions. Our children are still learning, we're still going with our education, and they're still having fun. We're just trying to be more careful with them," Cruzen said.

Principal Dorsey said they've had air conditioning problems since the beginning of the school year, and she believes it's because of the age of the system.

School officials did not want to comment about the problem, and they say they don't know how much longer the repairs will take before students have air conditioning again.
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