Classrooms boil water to stay warm

December 16, 2008 5:38:43 PM PST
A number of students at Richmond's Kennedy High School had to endure the chilly temperatures inside their classrooms and stay bundled up all day. A number of classrooms haven't had heat for at least a week, so some developed creative ways to try to stay warm.

Students at Kennedy High in Richmond boiled water in a beaker, not for a science experiment, but to keep the classroom warm.

"They're just boiling it just to have the steam, just using it to try to keep heat, but you can see you have people with jackets on, trying to do science work and things. It just wears you down. Let's go over to the other places," said Harry Campbell, the athletic director.

The athletic director of the school showed ABC7 how the lack of heat is affecting students in the classroom. And it's more than a few.

"Ahh, that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten classrooms," said Campbell.

Some teachers say they've been without heat for a few days, others say weeks. The district claims it's been just one week.

"Yes, we've complained before, but nothing gets done right away anyway. I imagine that when we come back from Christmas break something will be done," said Jacqueline Ervin, a teacher.

Hopefully sooner. ABC7 News contacted the West Contra Costa County School District. Within minutes the director of schools K-12 was at Kennedy making a phone call to the superintendent who already knew of the problem.

"We don't know if it's the boiler that has faulted or just what, but we're investigating it," said Linda Jackson, the director of schools K-12.

Following that explanation by the district employee, our visit was cut short. We didn't get a chance to visit the library or the gym which are also without heat.

"This is the way I ate lunch today in our office. We warmed up our food in the microwave and Mr. Sheradon and I had lunch like this [bundled up]. We're freezing," said Campbell.

The district promised to solve the problem in the next few days.


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