Long Island parents heated over lack of air conditioning in classrooms
Parents in several Long Island school districts are heated over the lack of air conditioning in classrooms amid a heat wave.
Westbury, Hempstead, Levittown and Oceanside school districts are some of the ones where parents were unhappy that their kids had to sit in hot classrooms.
A number of districts brought in portable fans to keep classrooms cool. After-school activities were also canceled.
Hempstead school officials say that its cooling system was overwhelmed by the record-breaking heat wave.
The district released a statement saying in part, "We are working to increase the cooling capacity in our buildings and prevent a recurrence in the future."
Michael Cohen, a former Long Island school superintendent, says school buildings are too old to install central air and the price tag is too high. Cohen says it will ultimately be up to parents to bring change.
"You have to let the Board of Education know that's a priority. We want our buildings air-conditioned," says Cohen.
Doctors warn parents to watch out for the warning signs of dehydration like dizziness, nausea and headaches.
The New York State United Teachers plans to reintroduce legislation next year that would set temperature standards in all school buildings.