I know the headline on this article is a little jarring. But it’s true. Quite a few schools in New Jersey should have been closed today.

What do I mean? 

All schools in New Jersey should be closing early today (and tomorrow)... IF they don't have air conditioning.

As a graduate of a New Jersey high school without air conditioning (Toms River High School South) these days are brutal. I know... I know... "old timers" will say, "back in my day we went to school without air conditioning," but it's just not the same in 2022 as it was years ago. It's not. (I say old-timers with love, of course).

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So for once last time, to be clear: if schools have air conditioning, kids can absolutely stay in school on a day like today.

But the Philadelphia schools just announced plans for an early dismissal on Tuesday. with little relief forecasted for Wednesday, I'd hope they'd do the same thing then. Baltimore schools (without air conditioning) are letting out early today, I read as well.

So why is it just urban schools? 

Classrooms are more crowded than ever before. So there are more bodies in a classroom increasing the heat via body temperatures, etc. Right?

Plus, school buildings are typically older. I used to ABSOLUTELY dread having classes on the upper floor of High School South where it felt like the thermometer could reach a scorching 90 degrees + inside the room.

Classrooms that are kept at a comfortable temperature help increase focus. If the past two years, taught us nothing else, it should be that students CAN learn anywhere. Why are we torturing students and staff in these classrooms today & tomorrow as temperatures sore well into the 90s?

I hate to sound like a whiny millennial, but in 2022, air conditioning in a classroom isn't a luxury. It's a basic right.

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