TOO HOT: Urangan Point State School's Parents and Citizens' committee is committed to air conditioning their school and secretary Katie Norris won't stop until she sees it happen.
TOO HOT: Urangan Point State School's Parents and Citizens' committee is committed to air conditioning their school and secretary Katie Norris won't stop until she sees it happen. Valerie Horton

Students vomit from heat exhaustion

WHEN Katie Norris' son came home from school after vomiting from heat exhaustion, she knew action needed to be taken.

Ms Norris and the Urangan Point State School Parents and Citizen's Committee are pushing for the installation of air-conditioners in classrooms after witnessing the effects Hervey Bay heat has had on teachers and students.

"Some of our rooms are peaking at 40 degrees and it's about how uncomfortable the kids are at the end of the day," Ms Norris said.

"My eldest son vomited twice and my youngest son in his class had a little girl vomit from heat exhaustion.

"They're not isolated incidents."

The proposal, first put forward about 12 months ago, was approved by two previous principals however issues had arisen since their departure which prevented the P&C from accessing the $16,000 set aside school funds.

The P&C was counting on the money, which would have been combined with fundraising, to purchase at least 25 air-conditioning units.

Do you think schools on the Fraser Coast should have air-conditioning in classrooms?

This poll ended on 15 April 2018.

Current Results

Yes, I think it's a great idea

82%

No, they don't need it

17%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

To date, they have received money through fundraising, student council, $2500 from Bendigo Bank and a $35,000 grant from Community Gambling.

The group sought support from Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen who organised a meeting with Minister for Education Grace Grace.

"The LNP made a strong commitment at the last election, to get the job done and the residents of Hervey Bay strongly supported the initiative," Mr Sorensen said.

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"Studies have shown that students perform better and produce better results in schools that have air-conditioned classrooms.

"When I speak to parents and teachers, I often hear about children falling ill through heat exhaustion which is why I have worked tirelessly to deliver a better learning environment for all children in Hervey Bay.

But a Department of Education spokeswoman said funding for air-conditioning in schools was provided only in the most humid parts of Queensland and according to a government map, Hervey Bay doesn't make the cut.

She said the provision of air-conditioning outside the zones was up to the school community.

In the meantime she said the department incorporated "passive cooling measures" in schools including building orientation, shade, good ventilation and ceiling fans to deliver "functional learning environments".


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