Pascagoula-Gautier School District sets rules to protect students from intense heat

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District cracks down on rules involving when students can be outdoors.
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 7:31 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA/GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Students in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District get to go back out for recess and P.E. this week after the intense heat kept them indoors last week. This is as the school district cracks down on rules involving when students can be outdoors.

The intense heat pushed the school district to establish a new rule before the school year started.

That rule says teachers aren’t allowed to take children outside if the temperature is above 92 degrees. The district has also been using the “weather bug app,” which lets schools know how hot it’s going to be in a given hour.

One of these schools is Gautier Elementary School. Students there charged the playground for P.E., class on Monday. It’s their first time outside this school year.

The first two days of their school year the heat index was between 110 and 115 degrees.

“I couldn’t even get the kids out in the morning time because it was so hot,” said Gautier Elementary School PE teacher Joe Gatschet.

Gatschet said the sweltering temperatures can be hard to handle.

“Some kids don’t go outside very often so they’re not acclimated to the heat and then there’s some who are acclimated to the heat a little bit better,” Gatschet said.

He said his main priority is to keep the kids healthy and hydrated.

“They all need to make sure they’re taking in plenty of water not just here at school is very important for them to get their water at home as well,” he said.

Gautier Elementary Principal Elizabeth Bailey said she’s happy to see kids enjoying the sunshine, and she’s prepared if it gets to be too much for anyone.

“Kids love to be outside,” Bailey said. “If we see a student that’s not feeling well or if the student says, “I’m not feeling so well” we’re able to get assistance to them as needed.”

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