Teacher Complains of Unsafe Conditions in Hot Classrooms

One teacher complains of sweat dripping in her eyes, on papers

When San Diego-area schools opted for early dismissal in the face of extreme heat, many applauded the decision.

However, there were those educators who couldn't help but ask, what about us?

In the past, teachers have used spray bottles, frozen baby wipes and popsicles to keep children cool when the temperatures rise, one teacher told NBC 7.

“September, October is always horrible,” she said.

With the county under a heat advisory Monday and Tuesday, the San Diego Unified School District decided on early dismissal for those schools and classrooms unequipped with air conditioning.

Great for students but not the staff, according to one teacher who agreed to speak with NBC 7 if her identity was concealed.

"It was 104 in my classroom today. No AC, nothing," the teacher said.

The woman said she was assigned administrative tasks that kept her in her classroom even though students were let go.

And she wasn’t the only one.

She said staffers resorted to putting frozen water bottles in the backs of their shirts or sticking their heads in a freezer to find relief. One staff member broke down in tears because she was so fatigued, the woman claims.

"And it's really hard to work when you have a pounding headache, sweat is burning your eyes, your clothes are soaked to the skin, you have sweat dripping on your papers."

"It does affect our health and our ability to do our jobs," the teacher said.

Even though she admits it's not as extreme as say a construction worker or a roofer, she said it would be nice to know why teachers and staff weren’t taken into consideration by the district.

“We’re the grownups, we can suck it up,” she said. “It would be nice if they were concerned about our health and safety as well.”

SDUSD spokesperson Linda Zintz says if teachers can't find a cool place on campus to finish their work, they can always go to a cafe.

She also said if teachers are that uncomfortable, they can also use one of their sick days or personal time.

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