HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The superintendent of the Hancock County School District is looking at changes to bus policy after complaints about hot buses fueled a video on social media. The video shows the district's director of transportation telling students they will face disciplinary action if they leave the windows on the air conditioned bus down when they get off.
Most of the district's 80 buses have air conditioning, according to Superintendent Alan Dedeaux, but in the South Mississippi heat, it takes a while for the buses to cool down.
"We want to make all of our students comfortable, but the air can't keep up with the heat," Dedeaux said. "It gets warm out there. This is South Mississippi. When I get in my car, it's hot. It takes time for it to cool down."
Dedeaux had district mechanics check the cooling power of the bus air conditioners around 11 a.m. Thursday. At the time, he said the temperature outside was 88 degrees and heat index was 101.
"Within about three minutes of starting that buss, it got down to 84. After 10 minutes, it got down to 82," Dedeaux said.
He said the air conditioning check also showed the fans on the bus blew air at 49 and 51 degrees, but it still took some time to cool the entire bus.
The district has a no idling policy in the bus line, which prevents students and staff from breathing diesel fumes, but when the bus is off, the air conditioning is off. Dedeaux said he's looking for a solution, such as allowing the buses to run the AC for a little while before classes let out and students begin boarding.