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No AC in Mansfield Elementary, students stuck in hot classrooms

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Mansfield Elementary School’s AC unit went out late last Thursday while temperatures outside were in the high 80s.

“These are babies that can’t text their mom. They can’t call. We’re talking about, we’re talking about Pre-K on up,” says DeSoto School Board District 10 candidate LaTarsha Shelton.

Shelton says staff and teachers told her it had been out since last Thursday. The teachers wanted to stay anonymous.

“They were under the impression it would be repaired by over the weekend, and when they got to school Monday, it would be working.”

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She posted on her Facebook page, letting people know the school was without air conditioning.

“They got to school, and the air conditioning was not working. They also alerted me that they had brought in, I think, fans to try to pull some of the air from the hallways, and they had the doors open to keep the rooms cool.”

DeSoto Parish Schools Superintendent Clay Corley released a statement saying that operations employees had the unit operating normally. Then on Sunday, the principal said the building “felt stuffy,” so they were back on Monday making repairs.

By 11:00 a.m. on Monday, both chillers were operational, according to Corley.

“I am aware of that, but my reason for making the post after I was alerted again that this has been going for a consecutive three years. And this is from staff and retired teachers that contacted me,” says Shelton. “And I’m like, ‘Okay if this has been going on for three years, why are we still patching this up?’ This needs to be a new unit.”

However, Corley refutes that claim and says it is an isolated incident rather than an ongoing problem. He says the contractor returned to the site on Tuesday morning to replace a compressor and sensor to ensure that both units ran at 100 percent capacity.

“We are fortunate to have a highly effective and excellent operations team. Thanks to them and their quick actions, we were able to resolve the issue quickly,” says Corley.

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