Some DISD Elementary Students Spend Part Of Day Without Heat

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – After a two-day holiday — compliments of an ice storm — students at Dallas’ Esperanza “Hope” Medrano Elementary returned to class Tuesday. But they received a less than warm welcome:  the school’s heat was out for much of the day.

“It was freezing,” said 8-year-old Genesis Castillo, a 3rd grader at the school near Wycliff and the Dallas North Tollway.  “I tried to keep warm.” Genesis’ twin sister, Leslie, chimed in, “The teachers were telling us to put on our jackets and they’re going to bring the heaters a little later.”

CBS 11 News cameras caught what appeared to be workers removing a truckload of space heaters.

Campus officials declined to comment about the situation and referred us to District headquarters.  A DISD spokesperson responded via email Tuesday afternoon with a subject line simply stating, “Heat is restored at Medrano School.”  But, questions concerning how long the heat was out and why students were kept on the campus went unanswered.

And while students spent much of the day in the cold, Medrano parents were kept in the dark about the situation.

“It’s very dysfunctional,” said Danielle Hicks, a mother of two Medrano students.  “I’m more in shock than anything.  Normally they do call us and let us know if anything is going on and I didn’t get a call today.  So, I’m very disappointed.  I’m not happy.  I’m not happy at all.”

Hicks’ fifth grade daughter, Tamara, said she was cold all day.  “It was freezing inside the classroom.  We had to take our practice tests and it was too cold to think.”

Hicks said she prepares her children for the weather outdoors, not inside the school building. “They’re bundled when they leave the house. But, I’m sure they don’t want to be in classroom all day with their scarves and gloves on. That’s ridiculous!”

With school officials declining to comment, there’s no way to gauge the actual classroom temperature.  But, at eight o’clock Tuesday morning, the temperature outdoors in Dallas was a bone chilling 22 degrees.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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