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Students Return To Dallas School Without Heat

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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(credit: KTVT/KTXA)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The winter storm prompted an unexpectedly long weekend for students across North Texas. But when the children at one Dallas school returned for class on Tuesday morning, there was no heat in their building. Parents are now wanting to know why the heat was out for so long, and why they were not made aware of the situation.

This happened at Esperanza Hope Medrano Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District.

It was extremely cold outside on Tuesday, too. In fact, at the time that kids were heading back to school, the temperature was at about 22 degrees — and that is not even including the wind chill. Temperatures hovered around the freezing mark throughout the entire day.

A fifth-grade student said that her classroom was so cold that she could not concentrate. “We had to take our practice tests, and it was too cold to think,” said student Tamara Hicks.

And one parent said that she was shocked. School officials normally call homes when situations like this arise, but parents on Tuesday had no idea that this happened. “I’m very disappointed,” said parent Danielle Hicks. “I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all.”

Workers were seen at the school with a truckload of heaters, but that was later in the day. Students spent much of the day bundled up to stay warm. “The teachers were telling us to put on our jackets,” said student Leslie Castillo, “and they’re going to bring the heaters a little later.”

Officials with the Dallas ISD responded on Tuesday afternoon by simply saying that the heat was back on at the school. There was no comment about how long the heat was out, how cold the classrooms were, or why students had to remain in their chilly classrooms.

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