Chesterfield school’s broken AC: ‘Feels like you’re suffocating’

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – On a 90 degree day, students prepared to deal with a broken air conditioner at Robious Middle School. Instead of a steady stream of cool air, there was a steady stream of exiting students who couldn’t take the heat.

"It's just really hot and like when you sit in the back of the classroom, you feel like you're going to suffocate,” said 7th grader Allison Gaither.

"It's really hot,” 7th grader Ryland Warner.

"It's so hot everyone is sweating,” 7th grader Caroline Saady.

Caroline said that on Thursday afternoon a classroom thermometer read 86.9 degrees in the classroom.

An email from the school went out Thursday letting parents know the school would be not be as cool as it usually is on a 90 degree day, so some parents decided to pick their student up Friday.

"So, we had an agreement last night if he did his homework, we'd give him a half day and pick him up around lunch,” said father Patrick Warner.

"Well I figured since it was so hot and she did go half the day, that I did want to bring her home and just make sure everything was fine and she wasn't having any issues,” said Carole Brown.

Some students said the issue has been going on longer than 48 hours – that it had been about a week.

In fact, so many students either didn't go today or were being picked up, it affected some classes.

"Usually in my International Studies Class there's usually 20-22 people, when I left, there were three,” Caroline said.

The school's air conditioning unit was fixed Friday afternoon.