Grain Valley school turns off A/C with students inside

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (KCTV) - Students at one local school went to class without air conditioning for a period of time Tuesday.

KCTV5 obtained an email from a principal in the Grain Valley school district. In the letter, the principal told a parent that Evergy “required” the school to turn off the A/C at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Outdoor temperatures were in the 90s at that time. However, the principal said the temperatures inside the school did not reach a “concerning level.”

Evergy told KCTV5 they did not require the shut-off.

One mom who spoke to KCTV5 wants better communication from the school district. She said she found out about a lack of A/C at school when her daughter came home red in the face, complaining about the heat.

“Issues like this, I don’t think need to be communicated and brought to my attention by my 9-year-old daughter,” said Jennifer Meyers, a parent in the Grain Valley school district. “My daughter is hot-blooded. When she gets hot, she can’t focus. She gets really bothered by it.”

It was her daughter, not the district, who told her the elementary school shut off the A/C at 2 p.m. Meyers reached out to the school’s principal. In an email shared with KCTV5, the school’s principal said it was “not a district decision, but that of the company.”

KCTV5 reached out to Evergy for comment. In a statement, Evergy said, “Evergy is not mandating schools shut off their air conditioner any time of day.”

Evergy did say that many school districts participate in a voluntary program where they are asked to reduce energy consumption but have the option to not participate. Neither Evergy nor the Grain Valley School District would tell us if the school was part of that program.

“It doesn’t make sense. I think that schools should be able to function in a comfortable atmosphere all year round,” said Meyers. “If we are facing high temperatures, schools should be able to get an affordable rate.”

Evergy did tell KCTV5 they called an energy-saving event on Tuesday afternoon. Larger customers were asked to reduce their electricity usage unless they opted out.