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Old 08-27-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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11 Caddo school bus drivers keep track of high temperatures

It's hot on school buses.

And parents, students and school officials know it.

But Jackie Lansdale, president of the Caddo Federation of Teachers and Support Personnel, says not enough is being done about it.

Eleven Caddo drivers periodically logged the temperatures on their buses Aug. 14 through Aug. 16, as part of a pilot study to test the temperature and humidity ranges inside the buses. Temperature readings were recorded three times a day between the morning and evening routes.

Some school bus drivers, who belong to Lansdale's group, said the temperatures inside the bus hit 116 degrees and felt much hotter during the three-day survey. The bus drivers were asked to record how they felt during the high-heat times. They recorded headaches, nausea and skin rashes.

"If this impacts adults, you can imagine how it affects young children with immature nervous systems," she said.

Lansdale said one thing that would help ease the heat would be to start school later in the year. Caddo schools started Aug. 14, while Bossier schools started Aug. 8.

She said the early start time is all about getting in enough instructional time before the state-mandated LEAP tests.

"It's the test; it's the test; it's all about the March state testing," Lansdale said to board members on Tuesday. "We are conveniencing the bureaucrats in Baton Rouge at the expense of our students' and employees' health."

Caddo schools Interim Superintendent Rodney Watson said the school system had 152 of its 487 school buses air conditioned.

Watson said the school district is purchasing 15 air conditioned buses a year and the children who have the longest route time are getting the air-conditioned buses first. He said students are allowed to bring bottled water on the buses to ensure they stay hydrated.

"We're doing all we can, we know it's not perfect but we do have a plan in place," he said during the Tuesday meeting.

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