HCDE Works to Keep Wildfire Smoke Outside of Schools

Hamilton County, Tennessee (WDEF)– Thirty-four fires continue to burn across our viewing area.
The fires have caused a smoky haze for the last several weeks.
Now the Hamilton County Department of Education is making sure all students are kept safe while crews continue to battle the blazes.

“When it first started I got really bad allergies and I had to stay out of school and stuff. It was really bad, ” said senior at Soddy Daisy High School Breanna Fowler.

Schools across Hamilton County are seeing a decrease in attendance because of the smoke caused by wildfires plaguing much of the southeast.

Principal at Soddy Daisy High School Steve Henry, said many parents have been pulling their children out of school.

“I’m facing the same thing at my house that I’m facing here. So it’s just a matter of you know, that’s not for us to decide when it comes to a parent wanting to get their kid out. It’s bothering all us you know, some kids have asthma issues and breathing issues you know we’ve got to be sensitive to that.”

Hamilton County Department of Education interim superintendent, Dr. Kirk Kelly, said they have a maintenance crew working to ensure there is little to no smoke inside the schools.

“We got 78 different schools so it’s different depending on the location of the school so some schools may have worse conditions than others. Some buildings you can actually shut off the air from the outside and then pump it out. Others, they’re going in and they’re trying to use fans, whatever they can do in terms of ventilation.”

Dr. Kelly  said administrators are working hard to keep students informed and safe.

“Teachers are working their students and trying to ensure them that everything is going to be okay. And it’s just something we have not had in this community before in a long time. You know, 26 days without rain and hopefully we can get some rain today.”

If parents do not think is safe for their child to attend school due to health concerns, they are advised to contact the school administration.
Those days off will be excused.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Local News

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