Teachers, parents and students putting heat on lawmakers

Teachers, parents and students putting heat on lawmakers

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Clare Hanusz's son goes to a private school where classrooms are air conditioned. But her daughter's class at Noelani Elementary School is not and it's hot.

"My daughter says a lot of times kids will just put their heads down on the desk because they're just too hot," Hanusz said.

Even though the public school is in Manoa, when the wind dies the temperature inside rises.

"The kids need to be focused on their work and not how hot it is," Hanusz said.

Last month, some public school teachers documented the highs in their classrooms with photographs of temperature gauges. It hit 95 degrees at Campbell High School, 91 at Waialua High and Intermediate, and 91 at Honowai Elementary in Waipahu.

Shirley Yamauchi teaches middle schoolers in Kapolei.

"Their tolerance isn't as much as an adult. I'm dealing with 10-year-olds, 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds," she said.

On September 26, teachers, students and parents from 17 schools around the state will rally at the State Capitol to put the heat on lawmakers to find money to air condition classrooms. A student driven letter writing campaign has already begun with complaints that heat, stench and sweat affect education.

"I know that you cannot concentrate the same," Jolanda Spencer said. "I know that you don't have the same attitude. That affects your learning, your social mood, your relationship with your peers. It affects everything."

Her daughter Marisa is a third-grader at Noelani.

"It's the public kids that are suffering," Hanusz said. "It goes back to one of the many disparity issues between the public and the private schools."

"These parents are taxpayers. I'm a taxpayer," Yamauchi said.

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