Parents voice frustrations over school buses not having air conditioning

Parents voicing frustrations over school buses not having air conditioning

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Christina Fautherree is a mother of 3 who says watching her kids come home from school with bright red faces and sweating from the heat is not a pleasant sight.

"They're used to being in the cool air in the classrooms and stuff, they go straight to the bus where it's 110, 115 degrees, that's just too hot, and it could make them sick, someone could end up having a heat stroke or something," Fautherree said.

A bus driver from Southwest Louisiana who did not want to be identified says this is a serious issue. She says she keeps a thermometer in her bus to monitor the heat.

“It’s ranging over 100, about 105, 110, daily sometimes,” she said. “A lot of these kids get on the bus in the morning with a jacket on and get on in the evening with a jacket on because you can hang meat in some of these schools. That’s fine, that’s what it needs to be. When you put 30 to 40 to sometimes 65 kids on these buses, that magnifies the heat.”

The Calcasieu Parish School Board said in a statement:

The topic of air conditioning on buses comes up periodically in Southwest Louisiana due to the nature of our climate. We take the transportation of our students very seriously and take pride in transporting thousands of them each and every day. While some of our special needs and activity trip buses are specified for air conditioning, regular daily route buses have never had air conditioning listed in the bid specifications. When analyzing the cost of purchasing and maintaining air conditioning on route buses compared to the average length of time students spend on buses and the number of days with extreme heat, the costs/benefit has not been logical.

But as a mother who sends her kids on the bus, Fautherree says those who actually have to ride that bus should be prioritized.

“I don’t want to see a kid getting sick or over heating on the bus or something, I know the bus drivers having to drive them the whole time, they’re miserable too,” Fautherree said.

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