Parents, Students rally outside DOE for cool schools - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Parents, Students rally outside DOE for cool schools

Two rallies were held Thursday outside Department of Education headquarters.  The first was during the morning commute.  The second was after school so students and teachers could attend.

The grassroots movement was organized by members of Cool Our Keiki.  The group formed a little over a month ago and already has nearly 3,000 followers on Facebook.  

Members say they're tired of seeing their children come home drenched in sweat.

"They can't concentrate.  They're getting heat exhaustion, nose bleeds, kids are passing out.  They're going to the emergency room." said Cool Our Keiki founder Gigi Jones. 

Parents believe DOE officials has forgotten one of its primary responsibilities. That is the health and safety of students and teachers. During the demonstration the group demanded the agency take action and come up with a plan to cool schools statewide.

While officials work on a permanent solution parents told Hawaii News Now emergency measures need to be taken now.

Anna Mitchell's two children attend Ewa Beach Elementary.  She said she had to get a note from their pediatrician so they could have a water bottle at their desk.

"A water policy needs to happen.  That's something that hasn't really been addressed.  Currently it's up to the discretion of the teachers how much water the kids can get and when they can get it," said Anna Mitchell.

Many parents in attendance are working to provide additional short term fixes. 

There is a fan drive on Sept. 12 and Sept. 19 in the parking lot of the Pearl City Shopping Center located at 850 Kamehameha Highway.  The donation drive runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days.

The fans for this particular drive will be donated to Pearl City High School.   The school has 115 classrooms and only 3 of them have air conditioning. 
 
Organizers say they have partnered with City Mill and for every five fans purchased at the fan drive City Mill will donate a sixth one.

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