September 5, 2012

To Be or Not to Be, Cool - That is the Question

Slowly the schools in our district are being air conditioned.  It takes money to get it all done and there have been bonds that we voted on to get it done, but it has been a long road as all buildings cool off. 

It seems we start school earlier and earlier every year.  This year the first day with students was August 16th.  Temperatures have been in the upper 90's to low 100's  (35 - 39 C ) during this time. 

Any new buildings are built with central air.  Many of the older buildings have been fitted large, noisy window air conditioners.  This requires that classrooms keep their doors shut to keep the cool in and the hallways are still very hot and humid.  The superintendent stated on the news last week the plan would be to eventually phase these window boxes out and upgrade to central air for all.  More money, do doubt. 

But as of this school year,  two thirds of our junior high buildings remain unairconditioned.   Now think about this.  These kids have had airconditioning all through their elementary and middle school years.  Most have air conditioning at home.  Now they are being asked to go spend 8-10 hours of their in hot, humid conditions and to focus on learning. 

The public's reaction is interesting.  Through comments in the newspaper and call-in radio shows many people chide students & teachers today for needing to have air-condition.  Back in the day, they didn't have air and so why do kids today need air? 

I wonder how many of these people are working in unairconditioned environments?    

 It reminds me of  when my mother used to say she walked 2 miles to school every day -- in all weather -- up hill both ways and barefoot.  

I don't think we can compare our experiences from yesteryear to today's experiences.  Even school today is much different than school back in the day.  Perhaps the people who are grumbling about kids having it too easy should spend a few days or a couple weeks at school and see what is going on.  Let them experience the hot weather in an old building while having to learn.  Let them see what kids are even learning today-- oftentimes much more is required now than what was required then. 

Do you think it is necessary to have air-conditioned schools today?

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