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Parents voice frustration over school buses without air conditioning

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 18:21:47-04

BELLMEAD, TX — Several La Vega ISD parents are fuming over their children riding home in district buses that have no air conditioning.

"They come home like drenching in sweat like, my 5-year-old has severe asthma, so the first day he came home he was like soaking wet" said Myss Peel, a concerned mother of four children.

Peel explaining that it's not just the fact that the bus has no air conditioning. Most times, she said, the windows are all closed.

"I was like y'all got the windows up. It's hot on here. The kids already sweating, at least let the windows down. The kids are like exhausted like, no energy no nothing. My kids get off school at 2:45 they don't make it home till 4:45" said Peel.

With more than 10 100 degree days in August so far, parents are saying it is far too hot for their young children to have to endure the heat.

Demetric Johnson, another La Vega ISD mother, explained "more than 50 kids on these buses at one time. They're not getting water, they're not receiving it. Windows suppose to be down but they're up, and you don't have the air on."

Johnson's son also has severe asthma. She told Central Texas News Now that every day when he arrives home his conditions worsen. "He's coughing. He's wheezing and gasping for air," said Johnson

Central Texas News Now reach out to La Vega ISD's Assistant to the Superintendent Lori Mynarcik, who explained that of the 28 buses the district has, 25 have air conditioning. Mynarcik further explained that children are supplied water on the three buses without air conditioning.

Mynarcik said three temporary buses are about to become available to replace the three buses without air conditioning.

The transportation company La Vega ISD uses, Durham School Services, gave Central Texas News Now the following statement:

"We can confirm that 18 of our 21 buses serving the La Vega ISD schools are equipped with air conditioning units. However, three of our buses do not have air conditioning. We do provide students each day with drinking water. Due to these extreme heat conditions, beginning on Friday, August 23, we will be replacing these three vehicles with buses that have been equipped with air conditioning."

Peel said she has no other options other than using the bus.

"I was gonna go pick them up, but [the law] requires for all of them to have car seats. I have a Lincoln, like four car seats don't fit in the car. You don't have car seats on the buses," said Peel, "It's not La Vega cause they're a good school, it's the transportation. I mean they either to get air on the bus or they need to get more buses so the kids don't have to be on the bus as long."

Johnson said she also just wants her children to be safe.

"You're putting them in the care of someone else, so when you send them somewhere and when they come back they're totally different than the way they were when you sent them, you're gonna ask why. Put your kids first. Put your children first. It's hot out here. If you're gonna give them water, give them a big bottle," said Johnson.

Central Texas News Now reached out to 72 school districts in Central Texas to see how many of their school buses did and did not have air conditioning. Out of the 72 districts contacted, 28 responded to the request. For a breakdown of the number of air conditioned buses per school districts, click here.