• Children endure sweltering conditions on school buses with no A/C

    By: Elsa Gillis


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Temperatures have been hovering in the low 90s since school started, and Channel 9 learned that 120 school buses in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district do not have air conditioning.

    "It feels like to me like I'm suffocating, because I'm not getting air in my lungs," said a school bus driver, who did not want to be identified.

    [ALSO READ: New safety measures in place as CMS students prepare to head back to school]

    The CMS bus driver said she and other drivers have called in sick because of the lack of A/C on school buses.

    "The children are soaking wet when they get off the bus,” the bus driver said. “You feel like you're gonna pass out."

    She said she drives the bus up to five hours every afternoon and carries a total of 150 students.  

    School district officials said that about 9% of their fleet is reporting A/C issues, which is not uncommon for a fleet of 1,328 buses.

    “It’s definitely hot just walking from the car (to) here,” parent Jessica Boyce said.

    A Channel 9 employee said his children got off a bus, and they said it had been hot onboard.

    The children’s bus driver said temperatures on the bus were in the 90s and could get above 100 degrees, even with the windows open.

    “Maybe the morning's not so bad but in the evenings, that can be a concern, especially for kids who may have breathing or health issues,” Boyce said. “So, definitely, I think that’s something. It’s a concern.”

    Buses are not taken off the road for A/C repairs.

    Channel 9 has asked the district if there is a shortage of bus mechanics and if there's any reason why there are so many A/C issues.

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