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Students Grateful For Half Day Of School In Sweltering Heat

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It was a half day for Philadelphia school students, who were dismissed at noon today because of the sweltering heat.

With temperatures well into the 90s and no central air conditioning at the school, these 12th graders said it was hard to pay attention, even with shortened class times:

Rashaan says, "We only had classes for about 30 minutes, but once you got to 10 to 15 minutes through, a lot of people were sweating."

They rejected the argument from some adults, who claimed they had to sit through the heat in the old days.

Dori says, "It's way too hot in there. We're, like, sweating pools of water to a point where, we're just sitting in our own sweat."

Gary adds, "Yeah, it's distracting cause everybody fanning themselves all over the place, the teacher trying to talk but she hot too, she might fan herself..."

"So when we had a fire drill earlier today, when we walked out, it was cooler than the inside, which probably says something," says Simona.

District spokesman Lee Whack says about 40-percent of city schools are not air-conditioned.

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