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L.A. Unified students claim walkout over heat; district repairing A/C

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As intense heat continued its stranglehold on the Los Angelse area, students from at least one high school said they walked out of class.

Teenagers at Franklin High School in Highland Park took to social media to document temperatures in their classrooms -- 103 degrees, they said -- when air-conditioning units stopped functioning.

A school official said administrators were scrambling to accommodate students and teachers.

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Monica Whalen tweeted “a classroom @ Franklin High” with a photograph of the classroom and a headline reading “103.”

The student said some classmates had walked out of their fifth-period class and headed to a school auditorium that they presumed was air conditioned. She later tweeted that she was moved to a classroom with working air conditioning.

The school principal had apparently addressed students inside the auditorium.

Shannon Haber, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman, denied that students were walking out of class but did say eight air-conditioning units were not functioning on campus.

But the heat misery was hardly isolated to Franklin High.

There were issues with air conditioning districtwide. Nearly 500 calls for service for older air-conditioning systems were reported as of Monday.
Some of the district’s older systems, Haber said, failed because of the heat.

“Safety is our first priority,” she said. “These kids deserve air conditioning.”

The district was working to address the problem, Haber said.

Meanwhile, she said, some students and staffers were being relocated in an effort to cope with the heat and continue instruction.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.


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