Parents say middle school is too hot for kids

Posted at 6:56 PM, Sep 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-12 06:54:13-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - An air conditioning problem at a Richmond school has some parents seeing red. Richmond mom Sabrina Hicks said for the past week, her daughter has complained that it’s too hot inside her school.

Hicks said she felt it first-hand Tuesday when she attended MLK Middle School’s open house.

“It’s hotter inside of the building than it is outside,” Hicks told CBS 6 News' Shelby Brown.

Hicks' daughter, who is in a special education class, has asthma and the extreme heat is problematic for the child.

Hicks said when she addressed the issue with school leaders she just wasn't satisfied.

“How can our kids get a good education if they don’t have the things they need," Hicks asked. "We spend our tax money for this. It should be better than what it is.”

Though she’s grateful that a replacement school is being built next door and is set to open in about four months, Hicks can’t get her mind off what’s happening inside of her daughter’s school now.

“That school isn’t open now. They need to fix the problems here. Whether they are in here one more day or ten days, this should be an environment they can learn in and this isn’t allowing them to be productive,” Hicks said.

CBS 6 News took her concerns to Richmond Public Schools. A spokesperson declined to comment on camera, but spokesperson Felicia Cosby sent CBS 6 News this statement:

“We are aware of the cooling issues affecting nine out of over sixty spaces in the MLK building. Our facilities services team is currently working to remedy the situation to ensure the comfort and well-being of our students and staff. We are committed to having this issue resolved as quickly as possible.”

School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne said parents have a right to be upset and that he wants to make sure the kids are in the best learning environment.

A few hours before this report aired, Bourne said workers had pinpointed the problem. He said several fans used to push out the cold air were not working properly. He said he has heard from at least one concerned parent and encourages others to contact the school board if they have concerns.