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Denver Public School Parents Circulate A Petition To Change Start-Of-School Date

First Posted: 09/11/11 12:41 PM ET Updated: 11/09/11 05:12 AM ET

Heatwave

A group of concerned Denver Public School parents have started a petition called "Too Darn Hot To Learn!" to try and persuade the school board and superintendent to push back the district's back-to-school date after Labor Day.

The petition, which already has over 300 signatures on Change.org, makes the argument that students are unable to benefit from early start times with "classroom temperatures reaching as high as 105 degrees". It also alleges that schools are seeing an increase in cases of heat exhaustion, dehydration and headaches.

"There's a reason why kids are not allowed in hot tubs or why they can't legally be left in cars. But yet, they're being left in 100-degree classrooms all day," Denver Public School parent Stacy Smith told the Denver Post.

Earlier this month it was also reported that Boulder Valley School District might be considering a post-Labor Day back-to-school date because of rising temperatures and the improbability of outfitting their schools with air-conditioning. Installing air-conditioners in either district would cost hundreds of millions of dollars that schools don't readily have at their disposal.

On the group's Facebook wall, a petition signatory posted:

It is insanely hot. I was advised not to bring the class pets back until it cooled down. They are native of the Australain deserts. Imagine humanity towards other animals but not our children.

Last month was Denver's hottest August on record in 139 years with 22 days of 90 degree-plus temperatures. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency warns that temperatures tend to be more extreme in urban areas--a phenomenon known as "heat islands"--because pavement and buildings will absorb heat quickly.

Signs of heat stroke include hot or dry-looking skin that may even appear red, confusion, hallucination or aggression.

Each year, in an average summer approximately 1,500 Americans die from excessive heat events.

UPDATE:
Concerned DPS Parents has pointed out that there were actually two "Too Darn Hot To Learn!" petitions at the time this article was originally published. One started by Concerned DPS Parents had over 950 signatures, in addition to the one cited above started by Stacy Smith of Denver, which now has over 560 signatures.

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Filed by Andrea Rael  |