Should students have a place to escape the elements?

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Alex Reynolds

A cold, rainy day leaves students cold in the morning.

Alex Reynolds, Commentary Writer

As we go into November and deeper into the fall season, the weather is getting progressively colder. Though California does not get much rain or snow, you can certainly still feel the chill in the mornings. Some days students may be able to simply put on a sweater, however there are many days where the only true relief is staying inside. California is home to many outdoor schools, therefore a problem arises when the temperature outside begins to drop. So why do schools allow their students to stay out in the elements?

It is no secret that California isn’t exactly the coldest state. While other states are getting inches of snow, we are still enjoying sunny days and occasional rain. Students in outside schools are accustomed to consistent warm weather, with temperatures averaging in the sixties or seventies even in the coldest months. While the days are sunny with a comfortable temperature, the mornings can go as low as the high thirties. This brings up the question of whether students should be allowed to endure this weather when arriving at school.

Most schools in California are outdoors, meaning that there are separate buildings with students walking around outside to reach their classes. While this is ideal during the summer months with sunny skies and warm weather, the winter months can get a bit tricky. When it rains, giant puddles often form, leaving students with wet shoes and socks. The main problem occurs with the colder weather approaching, when it becomes unbearable to stay outside in the mornings. There are often times where staying outside for too long can leave people’s fingers feeling numb, and wearing the wrong clothes by accident can leave someone shivering all morning. 

Physical education classes are also subject to this problem. The earlier classes are forced to change into a t-shirt and gym shorts when it can be as low as forty degrees outside. Teachers dismiss the students’ complaints by stating that they will warm up after they do their exercises, and that it isn’t that big of an issue. Additionally, trying to put warm clothes back on in the short time allotted to change can be quite difficult after sweating for an hour. Many students are left rushing to their next class after struggling to put their clothes back on. 

There is a clear and simple solution to this problem. If schools were to open an area for students to wait for their classes to start, there would be significantly less problems for students arriving at school early. Most schools have their custodians arrive quite early, so it would be easy to open the gym or multipurpose room for students to wait in before school starts. Additionally, most libraries are open before school starts. However many students would find it difficult to keep the quiet environment, and the people trying to take advantage of study groups or trying to read would find it quite difficult to focus. Having a separate area exclusively for students to stay warm in the mornings would be ideal to increase morale amongst students.

Though California doesn’t get much snow or rain, the cold is still a problem. Students may not be enduring temperatures in the negative, but the chilly mornings are still a valid concern. Having a warm place for students to wait in the mornings would not only increase students’ morale, but it would provide a better learning environment. After all, it could be difficult to learn if a person is shivering and focusing more on how cold it is.