COPPELL (CBS11) – Packed like sardines. That’s what some students say they feel like after the first two days back in classes at Coppell High School.
Coppell ISD admits the campus is crowded this year but insists it’s taken steps to minimize congestion.
Students are venting their frustration with photos and videos on social media showing packed hallways and stairwells during the first three days of classes.
“With overcrowding, it’s hard to get around to classes there’s nowhere to move in the hallways,” says Kunal Verma, 11th grade student.
The 16-year-old is among 3,500 9th through 12th grade students who returned school at Coppell High on Monday.
They expected to share classrooms, but not personal space.
“There’s people budging, there’s like pushing people are trying to get to class especially on the stairs,” says Verma.
Other students CBS11 spoke with worry the jammed hallways between classes and around lunchtime are a risk during a fire or another emergency.
The district insists its not and in a statement to CBS11 says, “The campus conducts monthly fire drills and to date, those have resulted in evacuation under the time required.”
“It would be hard to even get out of the building because of all the people there it would be very chaotic,” says Verma.
District officials, who declined an on camera interview, also tell CBS11 they increased the amount of time between classes and added more lunch periods to accommodate any congestion issues.
Abishek Balakrishnan says it’s just a matter of time before he’s late to class.
“It’s only the first couple of days and they’re really not that strict but I think I will be in the future because there’s just so much congestion,” he says.
One student posted a photo of a crowded hallway with the caption, “why I hate school.”
Check out the image in this tweet:
Other students worry that it will eventually lead to fights or someone getting hurt.
“There’s two lines one that goes forward one that goes backwards there’s a lot of pushing shoving people fall over,” says Balakrishnan.
Next year the 9th grade will move to a new campus being built.
That will remove a quarter of the student body here now and certainly help.
CBS11 made contact with the City of Coppell and the fire department about the students concerns.
They promised a response but have not done so as of yet.
Overcrowding at the school is one of the reasons a 2017 graduate, Ishan Goel, started a student emergency response team to train students CPR and other life saving first aid in case of emergencies.