Mesa mother, students upset about school buses without air conditioning

Posted at 11:04 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 02:05:06-04

A Mesa mother said her children are coming home from school dripping in sweat because their school buses are not equipped with air conditioning.

“It's been hot,” said 8-year-old Karissa. “It feels like a desert.”

“It makes you want to cry,” parent Jennifer Slater said.

“I come home soaked like I got rained on,” said 10-year-old Walter.

Since the start of the new school year, Slater said her children, Karissa and Walter, have suffered with no air conditioning for several days on their bus.

“We were so soaked in sweat by the end of the day,” Karissa said.

“We have the pale, Irish kids so their face is like a red tomato when they are hot,” Slater said.

Mesa Unified School District officials said 80 percent of their regular buses have air conditioning, and that the other 20 percent are used when buses are out for maintenance or for the shortest routes. They also said that children can roll down the windows; but the children said that when they do, they are scolded.

“Someone got in trouble for opening the window even though it was hot inside the bus,” Karissa said.

“They said if we touched the window we would get a pink slip,” Walter said.

Slater said she fears the worst for Walter, who suffers from asthma.

“I'm not going to tolerate it,” Slater said. “My kid could end up on the floor and the bus driver might not see it right away. How do I know he's going to be OK or anyone is going to be OK before the paramedics get there?”

Slater said that she will keep making calls and keep pushing officials until her children are comfortable.