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Teacher says temps dropped below 60 in Richmond classroom

Posted: 6:37 PM, Feb 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-01 18:43:41-05
Teacher says temps dropped below 60 in Richmond classroom

RICHMOND, Va. -- Teachers at Swansboro Elementary School on Richmond's Southside take pride in keeping their kids engaged, but on Thursday one teacher reached his breaking point.

"I can't keep coming into work and being happy and giving quality education to my children if we're all sitting around being cold," he said.

The teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, said that for the past month the thermostat in his classroom rested below 60 degrees.

"My students are cold and shivering all day. We wear hats and gloves and whatever coats we brought with us," he said.

He snapped this picture of the thermostat on Thursday, which shows the temperature hovering around 58 degrees.

"After a certain point, they can't focus anymore. We're not really learning anymore, we're trying to stay warm and not pay attention to how cold we all are," he said.

Swansboro Elementary

Swansboro Elementary

Meanwhile, he and another teacher we talked to, said classroom temperatures on the second level can rise over 80s degrees in the winter forcing teachers to turn on their AC units.

"That doesn't make sense. I don't understand that. That's gotta be so expensive," he said.

RPS said they did make a boiler repair Thursday night at Swansboro and temperatures were consistent across the building by Friday.

"These are rampant problems we are doing everything we can to work through them school by school room by room," Superintendent Jason Kamras told CBS 6 problem solver Melissa Hipolit.

Swansboro is the third Richmond school where the problem solvers have reported on heat issues in the past two weeks.

Kamras said everything had to be on the table, including school consolidation, to fix the problems.

"In fact, on Monday we are going to kick off a rezoning conversation, which will discuss not just zones, but also our complete inventory of facilities whether closing or consolidation needs to be on the table," Kamras said.

Karmas wants teachers to email him about all problems they may encounter.

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