Students work to stay warm despite struggling heating systems - WSMV Channel 4

Students work to stay warm despite struggling heating systems

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The cold weather is still causing problems at many Middle Tennessee schools, where students say they're having to wear winter coats just to stay warm in their classrooms.

As day broke Wednesday, the power was out at two Sumner County schools. While crews were able to restore power before school began, heating up the classrooms took much longer.

Many students had to relocate to the cafeteria.

"If you go to Millersville Elementary, it's 50 degrees right now," said Sumner County parent Chad Martin.

Martin and his wife brought in blankets.

"How can you educate our kids when they're cold? They're freezing in an environment that is obviously not conducive to learning," Martin said.

At Hillwood High School in Nashville, the story was more of the same: old, outdated and often broken heaters.

"In one of our classrooms, we had two space heaters because our main heater wasn't working. And they were pointing out from where the teacher was standing towards the students, so I know the teacher must have been freezing," said Hillwood senior Daniel Fink.

Plus, the students say dress codes haven't helped with warmth.

"They just introduced a new rule at our school where you can't wear a heavy coat during the day, and as soon as you leave rooms, it's just cold," said Hillwood senior Cole Cory.

"We can't wear any hoodies or anything while we transition from the P.E. area into the weight training area. And we have to go through the breezeway or walk outside the entire time," Fink said.

Channel 4 News started asking questions about cold Metro schools on Tuesday. Soon after, the district responded to parents on Facebook, writing, "We hear you."

They say their maintenance crews are working hard to keep up as things break. They also asked parents to keep these frigid temperatures in mind come budget season.

"The heating problems that a lot of schools have is just that we have heaters from way, way too long ago. We need to update," Fink said.

Schools are asking students to dress warm and layer up. In the meantime, the weather outside is expected to offer some relief next week, with high temperatures reaching the upper 40s.

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