BALTIMORE (WJZ)– State Comptroller Peter Franchot and the NAACP sent a letter to the Department of Justice arguing that many of the schools without air conditioning in low income communities is a civil rights issue.

50,000 area kids are going to class in schools without air conditioning.  Skyrocketing temperatures inside area classrooms without air conditioning.  Now the state comptroller is asking the feds to step in.

“It’s a health issue, it’s a safety issue,” said Franchot.

He and the NAACP called the lack of air conditioning a “blatant neglect of students civil rights.”

36 schools in Baltimore County still don’t have A/C, along with 76 school buildings in Baltimore City.

Franchot says those schools are in “historically low-income communities”

“The poor kids and the moderate income kids are being treated differently from the more affluent kids and that’s wrong,” said Franchot.

In Baltimore County, schools without air conditioning have already been closed four times this year due to high heat and students here in Baltimore City have already had two early dismissals in the past few weeks.

“We’ve seen pictures of crayons melting. Crayons melt at 105 to 127 degrees,” said parent, Lily Rowe.

Rowe says many of those hot schools are in poorer communities.

“It sends the message that some communities and some schools are important enough to have the Taj Mahal of schools, while other communities and other schools are left to rot like they live in a third world country,” said Rowe.

Now she hopes the department of justice could make a difference. Department of justice officials say the request will be reviewed.

Baltimore county officials tell WJZ they are urgently moving forward to install air conditioning in schools. City schools did not respond to our request for comment.

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Comments (6)
  1. Marcus says:

    Im 53 and went to school in the city…WE HAD NO AIR AND WE SURVIVED…Should I be awarded reparations?

    1. Lisa Moore says:

      You also started AFTER Labor Day and got out BEFORE Father’s day. It wasn’t as hot back then. The buildings were in better condition with working windows and doors and plumbing. There weren’t crazy people running around shooting people (thus the need to keep windows/doors closed). There were no computers throwing off heat. There was more recess. I’m 52 and had no air conditioning when I went to school, but times have changed.

      1. Chris says:

        I am in my mid 30’s and went to 3 of the schools in the low income area, Dundalk to be exact. Our education had nothing to do with the ac, we had fans and sometimes is was hot. Get over it. It has absolutely nothing to do with civil rights. I got a fantastic education because my parents were on my butt to get it. Kids around here are provided a fantastic opportunity to get a tax payer funded education, the only thing they have to do is seize it and stop making excuses.

  2. Robert Pallone says:

    According to Franchot/NAACP WE NEED to consider having AC put into everyone’s private homes. “The poor kids and moderate income families etc.” Inequities exist in every phase of life. I wish I had not grown up poor w no AC at home or in school.

  3. Alan Evesham says:

    None of my schools were air-conditioned. I survived, actually thrived, and my civil rights are still intact. We have turned into a wuss society.

  4. Elearn says:

    I grew up with no air-conditioning in schools or homes. Peter is just trying to get Kamenetz off of the radar for the 2018 election. Sad attempt, Pete. We see right through you and power-hungry Hogan.

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