Education

Students swelter, parents steamed after air conditioning breaks down

Parents are upset that East Hancock officials have not made any contact with them since an air conditioner broke two weeks ago. Parents say air conditioning in the cafeteria and some classrooms at East Hancock Elementary School is not working.
Parents are upset that East Hancock officials have not made any contact with them since an air conditioner broke two weeks ago. Parents say air conditioning in the cafeteria and some classrooms at East Hancock Elementary School is not working. jcfizthugh@sunherald.com

Parents of East Hancock Elementary School students say they’ve been in the lurch over a broken air-conditioning unit that cools the cafeteria and some classrooms.

In the meantime, they’ve started a Facebook group to compare notes and try to discover why no one has been notified two weeks after the unit broke.

Brittany Swartzendruber, the parent of a second-grade student at the Hancock County school, said her daughter missed two days of class because the school cafeteria was so hot it caused her daughter to vomit and be sent home.

Calls to the school principal and the superintendent were not immediately returned.

“There needs to be better communication between the parents and the school,” she said. “I understand that these things happen. It might not be considered an immediate threat, but I think the school could do a better job of communicating with the parents.”

Swartzendruber said school officials initially left two voice messages to parents when the air-conditioning unit broke down and caught fire Sept. 14.

But after two weeks, parents have not received any other information, including the fact that their children have been suffering from the heat in the absence of the air-conditioning unit.

Students at the school wear uniforms and Swartzendruber said school officials should notify parents whether they are allowing students to wear cooler clothing until the air conditioner is fixed.

She said she wasn’t aware of the hot conditions until a fellow parent visited the school a couple days ago.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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