Not Cool At All - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

February 7, 2011

Not Cool At All

While one might correctly argue that there are a lot of cool things about our public schools and the efforts being made by students and teachers throughout the state, one thing is certainly not cool- the air.

As has been mentioned in these editorials and elsewhere for years, changing the climate of the education system requires careful planning and years of effort, but changing the climate of the classrooms takes somebody realizing what a joke it is to have kids sitting in classroom saunas and then to expect them to be alert and engaged.

Maybe it's a backhanded, awkward way to deal with that another local school problem- childhood obesity: let ‘em sweat it out- but the discomfort disparity between schools and even within the same school is reprehensible. Words like "hot", "unbearable", and "intolerable" come out of the mouths of the educators on the ground as they deal with the natural temperatures of Hawaii and the inhumane classroom conditions.  We need words like "solar", "more trees to block the sunlight", and other ideas now.

Yes, air conditioning and fans are expensive and require increased energy costs and maintenance, but the alternative is to continue to allow our kids and teachers to swelter and just say "we're working on it". Actually, we're not working on it, because this heat thing didn't just spring up due to El Nino or global warming or a strange thermal inversion here. It's been a fact for years, it's been discussed, and it's been relatively ignored as the relative humidity continues to deaden the learning environment, classroom after classroom, year after year. We need action, results, and a deadline- but what we don't need is more hot air from bureaucrats. Think about it…

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