Air con­di­tion­ing is a civil right

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Katharine W. Ry­laars­dam

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.