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DeSoto County School parents concerned over lack of air conditioning on buses

A lack of air conditioning on DeSoto County School buses has parents worried about possible heat exhaustion.

HERNANDO, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – A lack of air conditioning on DeSoto County School buses has parents worried about possible heat exhaustion. 

Parents are being urged to send bottled water with their children to school. Now many are donating water for students. One parent’s child, who attends Hernando Elementary School, says her daughter came home Monday exhausted from heat. 

“She came in the house and her hair, it was soaking wet,” said Ruby Walker, a Hernando Elementary School parent. “Like literally, she had just come out of a swimming pool. Her face was red as a tomato.”

Walker says her daughter came home light-headed. She is now picking her 1st grader up from school instead. 

“She was dizzy yesterday,” said the mother. “Crying. She went and passed out from the heat.”

Walker isn’t the only parent concerned. Tatyana Harrison says she doesn’t remember temperatures this high at the start of last school year. 

“I think it’s the first time it’s so hot, that’s why it’s created a huge problem to everyone and concern for sure,” said Harrison. She has a 6th grader who attends Hernando Middle School. 

A current bus driver posted on Facebook concerned about temperatures on the bus, urging parents to pack enough water bottles for their children to last after school.

“I thought it would maybe be a good idea to have donations of water brought to the bus garage,” said former bus driver Kaitlin Caffrey.  

Caffrey has children who will attend school beginning next year. She’s helped urge parents to donate cases of water and coolers. 

DeSoto County Schools said in a statement that the district has 458 school buses. Most of the regular-route buses are not equipped with air conditioning, however students can bring water on the buses. 

It’s not enough for Walker, who told her daughter she’s picking her up for now. 

 “I said you’re not riding the bus again, until further notice when it cools down,” she said. “I even sent her teacher a letter, a note this morning. I even called the school to make sure, saying do not put her on the bus.”

Anyone who wants to help can drop off water at the bus garage before 1:30 p.m. It’s located off of Mt. Pleasant Road in Hernando.