MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Monongalia County Schools were released two hours early on Friday due to anticipated warm weather.
The Board of Education received reports as late as Wednesday evening that there were to be severe temperatures and a triple-digit heat index. They wanted to beat the heat, by letting kids out early.
According to Superintendent, Eddie Campbell, school administrators’ biggest concern is the safety and health of the children. He said that over the course of this spring, temperatures have been pretty mild. Campbell said that he thought that kids have not had a chance to acclimate to the heat and humidity that they will see this summer. “Little kids don’t have a way to regulate themselves during recess,” he said. He then expressed his concern about kids being on buses that are super hot and being outside if it did get to dangerous heat indexes.
Campbell continued, explaining why the decision was made, “Yeah, we have air conditioners in our buildings. Unfortunately, our buses do not have air conditioning, but when you’re dealing with young students who are outside, and again, don’t have that ability to regulate themselves and understand when they need to take a break or when they need to hydrate themselves, or things like that, it becomes our responsibility as school administrators to help.”
The CDC has said that “extreme heat can impact our health in many ways.” It is the school administrator’s first priority to keep schools open.
Eddie Campbell based his decision on stories he has read and heard on catastrophic situations where children have suffered from heat ailments like strokes and exhaustion. He wanted to prevent any possibility of something like that happening in their schools.
The decision was controversial, with some parents wondering why students were let early out for heat-related concerns when the temperature only reached 84 degrees.