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Air Conditioning Stirs Controversy on Florida Bus

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The recurring issue of air conditioning in schools extends beyond just the classroom. A recent story shows the issue is just as important on the school bus. Consider a recent article for WFLA 8 titled “Driver accused of turning off air conditioning on hot Florida school bus.”

The author of the article writes, “Parents of students at an Orlando-area elementary school said a bus driver and bus attendant punished misbehaving kids by making them take a hot ride home with no air-conditioning. Parents said it happened Friday on a bus leaving Champion Elementary School in Daytona Beach. The Volusia County school district is aware of the allegation and is actively investigating the incident, but officials said that turning the air-conditioning off as punishment is not acceptable protocol. ‘These people are supposed to be around children. They should know how to handle children a little bit better than that,’ said Elicia Gray, a parent of three children who attend Champion Elementary School. Gray said her three children, ages 7 to 10 years old, along with classmates, endured a nasty ride home from Champion Elementary School Friday afternoon. Her children told Gray kids were acting up, misbehaving, so the bus attendant in the back told the driver to turn off the air-conditioning. ‘Taking a child’s air from them, I don’t think is a great punishment. I would never put my children in a hot car and close up the windows. I’d be arrested,’ Gray said. Gray said her children told her the driver switched off the air-conditioning at the first stop and it never came back on. The windows were also closed during the bus ride, which is about 25 minutes long. Gray said her children were all sweating when they got home. One of them was in distress.”

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