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Teachers: PPS not keeping schools cool

Education

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Teachers throughout the Portland area say the district isn’t doing enough to keep schools cool amid extreme heat waves. 

Portland reached a record-high of 97 degrees on Tuesday. 

Many teachers sent pictures to KOIN 6 News of thermometers inside of their classrooms that had recorded high temperatures. 

A thermometer at Da Vinci Middle School rose above 80 before 9 a.m. 

Other images showed similar temperatures at schools in southeast and southwest Portland. 

“There doesn’t even seem to be much air circulation, especially upstairs depending on which windows you have in your classroom, it can literally be sun beating down into the room,” said Tristan Trotter, a teacher at Ockley Green Middle School.

Another teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the outside air felt cooler than the air inside the school where she works. She added that there’s no air conditioning and the district hasn’t given staff the resources to stay cool. As a result, some kids have gotten headaches and bloody noses and aren’t able to focus. 

“Our poor kids were complaining, crying — I had one begging me to send her home and I can only do so much for them with the resources that I have,” she said. 

Portland Public Schools officials said they are doing what they can. 

“We ask that the principal and teachers make sure that their students are safe, and we are not putting them in any unhealthy conditions and that they have access to water — if there are fans available, use those,” said PPS spokesperson Harry Esteve. 

KOIN 6 learned not all classroom windows can be fully opened, water is typically room temperature and some rooms don’t have fans. Many teachers said they have to buy their own. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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