Oahu teacher sent to ER due to heat exhaustion in classroom

Published: Sep. 2, 2015 at 7:16 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 2, 2015 at 10:53 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jennifer Pimentel said around noon Tuesday, the culmination of weeks of working in a hot classroom came to a head.

"I started to feel dizzy, and I started to feel really fatigued, and I couldn't hold myself up," she said.

She drove herself to the emergency room where doctors treated her for hours.

"They told me that I was dehydrated," she said.  "They told me that I had heat exhaustion, and they told me I had issues that would lead up to possible heat stroke," she said.

Pimentel teaches at Ewa Beach Elementary, top school on the DOE's list for air conditioning. But they won't get it this year. Kanoe Clarin also teaches there.

"I'm worried about the children because it's so hot. They have their water bottles, but even though they keep drinking water, they look exhausted," she said.

"Parents are informing me that they're children feel fatigued. They're pale. They're vomiting. That's serious," Pimentel said.

She bought fans for her classroom. But they circulate hot air. She has been told she can't bring in a portable air conditioner or accept a donated AC because of electrical issues.

"It's long list of problems.  I would say, find some kind of resolution for us," she said.

Pimentel said if she got sick, and she's an adult, imagine what the overheating is doing to the kids.

"It's either going to be a staff member or it's going to be a student that has some kind of major, major either illness or some kind of heat stroke or heat exhaustion," she said.

The DOE released the following statement:

It is the hottest time of year and El Nino weather conditions are making Hawaii's summer even hotter, with record breaking temperatures across the Islands. 

We encourage all of our staff and students to keep hydrated and report any illnesses to the school administration. 

The Department is building heat abatement projects as fast as they are funded. Those projects that involve air conditioning can face delays depending on the electrical capacity of the campus.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.