School lets out early to keep kids off hot buses

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With temperatures around 100 degrees, there are times of day when it is unbearable outside, and in Brookland, the school district is aware of this and tried to help their students.

Brookland announced they were letting their students out at 1:30 p.m., earlier than usual, on Thursday and Friday which Assistant Superintendent George Kennedy said was just in time before it gets super-hot.

“Between around the 3:30 to 5 times are the worst and we decided if we can get them home and give them water on the busses then they will be safe,” Kennedy said.

The school said the decision was not because of an incident that was reported but because they knew the dangers of having a child exposed to extreme heat and wanted to ensure they were safe.

“Well, it is going to be even higher on the heat index inside the bus than it is outside the bus, well over 100 degrees, and the windows are pushed down but the hot air is blowing through,” Kennedy said.

Brookland has nine bus routes that have air conditioning with newer models, but have 13 that do not have air conditioning, which played a major role in their decision to let out early.

“Some of our kids could be on the bus for an hour and a half and no, and we don’t want to risk their health,” Kennedy said.

They are looking to change that though as every new bus purchased has air conditioning and they are working on installing it in some of their older models.

“And then Brookland will continue to upgrade our fleet and new buses in the future will all have air conditioning,” Kennedy said.