Patrick Henry students, teachers organizing in protest of hot school

Categories: Education, Weather
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Chalk it up as yet another reason why the first day of school shouldn't happen until after Labor Day, if at all possible.

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With the help of MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, some Patrick Henry High School students and teachers are holding a press conference at 3 p.m. today outside the North Side school to decry the fact that class is being held in an un-air conditioned building while temperatures hover in the 90s.

In a press release entitled "Students Demand 'Schools, Not Sweatshops' as Heat Wave Continues," an unnamed 18-year-old Patrick Henry student is quoted as saying, "You can't imagine what it's like. I came in excited for my first day of school, and by the end I was just trying to stay awake."

"What kind of bleak future is the district picturing for me that this is preparing me for with overheated, overcrowded classrooms?" the student adds.

The student's sentiment is shared by Patrick Henry civics teacher Brionna Harder.

"As teachers, we work really hard to set the right tone on the first day of class," Harder said. "The message kids are getting today is that our school system doesn't care about you, doesn't care about your health, and doesn't care whether you learn. That only makes my job harder."

Assuming class isn't canceled, there won't be any relief for sweltering students and teachers this week, as highs are supposed to remain in the 90s through Saturday.

The next day the high temp is projected to dip below 80? Next Tuesday, which was traditionally the first day for school when I was a youngin'. Ah, the good old days!

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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