By Lisa Gresci

LAWRENCE (CBS) – A hot, steamy day in the city of Lawrence.

“It’s a hot day so they said to come early and pick her up,” Roberto Torres said.

Students were feeling it, even inside the classroom.

Parents in Lawrence picked up their children for early dismissal for the hot weather. (WBZ-TV)

“It was burning like I don’t really know 100 something degrees that’s what I felt I don’t know about the rest but I was burning today,sweat was coming down my face,” Randy Guzman said.

For parents though, there were some mixed feelings towards this early dismissal.

“I’m happy it was a half day at school. It’s extremely hot I would rather have him home than being in there especially with no air conditioning I’m okay with it,” Carmen Morales said.

“That’s the flip side of that, parents having a real job and working like that and having a direct family and the roots to get your children, that is a little pain, so Dad’s not happy,” Keith Lee explained.

Windows to this Lawrence school were open as temperatures soared Tuesday. (WBZ-TV)

Marianela Rivera, vice chair of the Lawrence School Committee, says their hands are tied as elected officials for a school system under state control.

“Due to the overemphasis on testing we’ve seen the school year start earlier and earlier, despite the administrators knowing that many of our older brick buildings with no AC feel like ovens during the hot summer months,” Rivera said. “The focus on testing and expanding the school year to maximize test prep is really dehumanizing our students and their educational experience.”

Carmela Morales feels comfortable knowing the reason behind the early start.

“I don’t really mind as long as it has to do with their education, I really don’t mind,” she said.

Keith Lee, who used to be a teachers aid, doesn’t believe starting before Labor Day helps.

“That’s not the case, you don’t need to go back earlier to get better test scores. It’s either better resources or spend time with those children to get those test scores up, going early has nothing to do [with it]. Especially a week, what’s that going to do?” he explained.

Reasons aside, students were more than okay with another summer afternoon out  of school.

“I’m always happy for a half day,” Guzman said.


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