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Feeling hot, hot, hot: Why aren’t more Durham classrooms air conditioned?

School boards say it comes down to money, parents worry about student health

DURHAM — A sweaty start to the school year once again has parents in Durham questioning why many classrooms are without air conditioning.

Ajax parent Heather Morrow says her daughters, ages 5 and 7, have been coming home from school “sweaty and sick,” on hot days.

“They need to lie down as soon as they come in, they’ve been sweating for six hours straight,” she says. “How can kids be expected to pay attention and learn in those conditions?”

Cindy Wells is mom to two elementary school students and one high school student, as well as a kindergarten lunch supervisor at Stephen G. Saywell P.S. in Oshawa.

She says indoor temperatures over the first few weeks of the school year were so uncomfortable, that many kindergarten students went home early.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the inside temperature exceeded 40 C,” Wells said in a letter to the Metroland Media Group Ltd., Durham Region Division, written the first week of school.  “Today many children did not feel well due to the heat and parents were called to pick them up. I would estimate about half of our kindergarten class left early due to the heat.”

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