Air conditioning is a civil right
The Sun sneers at Comptroller Peter Franchot for his concern with air conditioning in schools, noting in particular that the schools lacking air conditioning are racially integrated (“Air conditioning as a civil right?” Sept. 23). This argument is plain silly. Civil rights are not only about race. The children in those schools all suffer from high temperatures during a heat wave while children in other schools in the county are comfortable. They are all handicapped by the heat. Those who grew up with old-fashioned schools with high ceilings and huge windows cannot fully appreciate how much worse the heat is in modern buildings while those who have never lived without air conditioning have no clue.
Children who are uncomfortable perhaps even to the point of serious health risk cannot concentrate on their work. They are losing effective learning time every time there is a heat wave. Yet they are held to the same standards as children in air-conditioned schools, subjected to the same test regime and their schools penalized for failures in their performance. That is a lack of equity in education, and that is clearly a violation of their rights.