Hot Lee County buses, cool relief - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hot Lee County buses, cool relief

August 15, 2007

Lee County--  The ride home from school for thousands of south Georgia students is uncomfortable at best and dangerously hot at worst.

Students in Dougherty County are lucky. Their buses are air conditioned.  But that's not the case in most counties. The Lee County school system is bringing students a little relief during the heat wave.

It's just after 3 in the afternoon.

"Oh man really hot. I wish it was a little bit cooler," said Lee County High School student Kenneth Harris.

Lee County students leave the cool comfort of air-conditioned classrooms and hallways to confront the raging heat outside. "Man it's been real hot," said student Deonte Stanley.

Freshman Talusia Johnson knows the heat well but it's definitely not a friend. She calls on another one for help.

"I'm praying and asking God, Jesus please send some rain because it's extremely hot and I can't stand it," said Johnson.

Unfortunately she has to stand it for several minutes until she can sit on her school bus. "The bell rings at 3:05. My bus will probably get here about 3:40," said Johnson.

But many Lee County High School students will tell you the heat doesn't end there. "It's pretty much horrible on the bus. You're sitting three to a seat and everything," said student Brenden Berson.

"It gets real hot. We don't have air conditioning so we have to let down the windows," said student Richmond Harrison.

That's why before they jump on the hot bus, several hands dig through cold ice to grab a nice cool bottle of water courtesy of the Lee County School System.

"It's very hot. Our buses are not air-conditioned and it's just a way for us to help the kids be safe," said Lee County High School Principal Kevin Dowling.

Lee County High School found a fun and creative way to do it. The back of the Assistant Principal's truck is transformed into a cooler every afternoon. "We just come out here and yell to the kids 'get some water. Get some water'. It was funny the first couple of days they'd say it's free?" said Dowling.

They are free and welcomed by students. "It helps a lot knowing that we have a long bus ride ahead of us," said Stanley.

"It helps a lot. It gives me something to drink while I'm waiting out here," said Harris.

At 3:40, Talusia continued to wait for her bus but at least she can do it with a little comfort. "It gives me energy so I can stand out here and wait for my bus," said Johnson.

From a hot wait to a hot bus, students need all the help they can get. They'll begin the whole process again tomorrow.

A few days before the school year started, the school system bought 2,500 bottles of water and sent them to the schools. They'll be handed out as long as the heat wave continues.

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