Schools dismiss early due to high heat, air conditioner problems

Schools dismiss early due to high heat, air conditioner problems
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) – The high heat index the Mid-South is experiencing could make moving in a challenge for University of Memphis students.

It's the first move-in day for the 2,000 students who signed up to live on campus. Meanwhile, a few Shelby County schools dismissed early because of the high heat.

Call it a "warm welcome" for incoming U of M students. The university has a plan to help relieve some of the burden so students and their families won't have to work so hard in the scorching heat and risk getting sick.

First, the school says university representatives will greet incoming students in the parking lots and provide drinks. That will help keep people from overheating.

A team of U of M volunteers, including students, professors, and groundskeepers will help students move in all their stuff to the residence halls.

The school is expecting some freshmen and other students to move in Thursday, but most students should be moving in on Friday.

Meanwhile some middle and high school students in Shelby County dismissed school early on Thursday due to problems with cooling units.

Ridgeway Middle School let out at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday due to issues with the air conditioning. Students at MLK Jr. Prep High School, formerly known as Frayser High School, also went home three hours early due to a faulty air conditioner.

"It's hot out here," said Fisher Scott, whose daughter attends MLK Jr. Prep High School. "I work on a garbage truck, it's hot out here."

Friday's classes at MLK Jr. Prep are also canceled. 

Like many parents, Scott had to leave work early due to the unplanned dismissal.  

"It throwed [sic] me off but, you know, I had to do what I had to do, if they can't understand it then you know.  I love my child that's my only one," he said.

Scott appreciates school leaders taking precautions to keep the kids from getting overheated. 

On Wednesday, a 10-year-old student passed out at Oakhaven Middle School while watching a football scrimmage from the stands, which goes to show, you don't have to be doing something strenuous for this weather to be hazardous to your health.  

Heat-related illness will be a real concern. The Shelby County Health Department provided this list of symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness/Fainting
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Myalgia
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Irritability

The department cautions that heat stroke can result in death or permanent disability if not treated immediately.

Click here for more information:

Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially if you are going to be working outside.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.