NYC students, drivers suffering on buses with no AC: ‘So many signs of dehydration and heat stroke’

Parents in New York City are “PIST” over the fact that unairconditioned busses are transporting young and disabled children during a hot and muggy heat wave expected to crush previous records this weekend.

Since the academic summer camp program began on July 5, hundreds of complaints have been received by the city’s Department of Education, according to The New York Post.

Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST), a group of concerned parents whose acronym appears to be synonymous with their sentiments about the school bus situation, said that the majority of the vehicles in service do not have air conditioning.

One parent of two children in the school system expressed concern for the kids and the bus drivers alike.

“The bus drivers are sweating through their uniforms, the attendants [too],” Paulette Healy from Brooklyn said. “Kids are coming off flushed, fatigued, exhausted – so many signs of dehydration and heat stroke.”

Delays and longer ride times for the students attending the “Summer Rising” program have reportedly increased since a bus flipped on its side earlier this week, taking it out of commission and injuring up to 40 people. Fortunately, no children were on board at the time.

“It’s hot. The AC is not working. They have no access to a bathroom or to water. Those are the circumstances that follow when accidents like this happen,” Healy explained.

There were plenty of critics on social media that blasted the complaints as whiney and irrelevant.

This year, complaints about the lack of air conditioning are apparently down a significant 75 percent when compared to the same period of time in 2019, pre-pandemic. Parents argue that the numbers have obviously been underreported as they allege extreme difficulty in filing a complaint and are often put on endless hold or can’t get through at all to make their complaint to the Office of Pupil Transportation.

The decrease could also be explained in part by the mass exodus of New York City school kids from the government-run education system where city mayor Eric Adams admits that they have a “massive hemorrhaging” of students.

A parent from the Bronx said she has filed numerous complaints about the temperatures on board her child’s busses, but they are dismissed with no corrective action because the vehicles weren’t equipped with air conditioning.

“They’re deterring people from filing incidents that give you a number and become something you can track,” Rima Izquierdo said.

“My kids will come off the bus red, very flushed. Feverish. Sweating,” she said. “The back of their shirt soaked, the front of their shirt in the middle soaked. Maybe sometimes the pants will have sweat marks from sitting down for so long. Both of my kids have asthma, so sometimes it results in them feeling tightness in their breath.”

Izquierdo felt for the workers having to endure the high temperatures too.

“Those are deplorable work conditions,” she said. “You have to take care of children, you have to be attentive. How, if you feel you’re going to pass out yourself? It’s not safe for a driver to be driving in that heat.”

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