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L.A. schools chief seeks full accounting of why
cross-country meet was held in 90-plus-degree heat

Los Angeles public schools Supt. Ramon Cortines said Friday he wants a full explanation as to why a cross-country meet was allowed to go on in Woodland Hills, where a dozen youngsters had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

Ten of the children were hospitalized after Thursday's event, two in serious condition, Los Angeles city fire officials said. The temperature at Pierce College, where the meet was held, was 97 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Cortines told KNX 1070 that he will be asking the district's athletic director for some answers as to why the event went forward during a week of record-breaking heat in the region. More than 700 students participated in the meet.

Cortines said athletic events had been canceled earlier in the week because of the soaring mercury, but he saw no such directive Thursday.

“I think we know the Valley heats up,” Cortines said. “I would rather err on the side of caution.”

During hot spells, the district staff needs to follow policy on such events to protect students’ health, Cortines said.

“Even if it's 95, 94 or 93 [degrees], we need to err on the side of caution," he said.

-- Richard Winton

Comments () | Archives (13)

Full accounting: Teachers are stupid. That is why they get laid off.

If they were smart, they would be in a real job.

uncle_vito, you are categorizing an entire group of people based on a couple of people's actions. I don't even know where to start with your comment. The reason they get laid off is because of lack of funding, not because they're stupid. "Real job"? Who would teach our children, teenagers and young adults? You have correct grammar and punctuation in your comment, meaning you had at least one teacher and you are at least a little educated in academia. How would you have been able to coherently communicate your thought if you didn't have teachers? Teachers in schools don't just teach math and English. Being in school also makes you learn discipline and problem-solving skills. Of course there are bad teachers but if we write them all off, our country would be worse than it already is (and teachers are definitely not to blame for the current state of the economy).

Put all children in plastic bubbles! Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything! Sanitize the world and make it perfectly safe! YaY!

The problem isn't how hot it is, it's how much the athletes drink while competing.

Unfortunately, most if not all high school coaches don't understand correct hydration. Even wildfire fighters use bad science. And heat illness is a serious condition.

The answer isn't to drink plain water or Gatorade. It's actually something in between, but I've never seen this advice offered, or followed.

Don't forget that 700 other athletes didn't require treatment for heat illness.

uncle_vito wouldn't last a day as a teacher.

Uncle Vito is a mouth-breathing drooler whose brains couldn't win a Pepsi Challenge against a mongoloid child.

Ray Cortines would struggle in such a contest also. In the end, every administrator wishes for a robotic response to real-world situations. Independent thinking is not allowed. Every administrator is just trying to stay out in front of any complaints or civil actions, silly or substantial. I would bet there were many parents of student-athletes present at the meet. Did they forbid their child's participation? How anxious were the kids to compete?

Cortines wants a full explanation, huh? The taxpayers of Los Angeles would like a full explanation from Cortines as to why he's run LAUSD into the terrible financial mess that it is in. I can't believe that anybody gives his guy any credence as a leader and innovator. Successful leaders cut out the administrative uselessness from the top and make cuts to the classroom last. This guy still can't understand that as he continues to spend wildly on people who are outside the classrooms.

Surprising. Of the 6 comments none addressed the health of the kids. A lot of other reasons but none that were converned with the kids' health.

I came from a small south Central Valley city where cross-country was done by grape, cotton and orange fields where it was hotter than 97% on a consistent basis.

I wished a Cortines would have been super of the district. I would have not run any less, but it would have been safer for all concerned.

Who would want a dead superstar than a live son or daughter?

If you think it's too hot to run why not just sit this one out? Personal responsibility.

How about just a little tiny bit of common sense here, people! You don't have children run around in 97 degree heat. And one of you out there wants the kids to have "personal responsibility"? Children look to adults for guidance. It was up to the adults to stop the meet. What a bunch of idiots. I guess we have to make a hard and fast "rule" about at what degree we stop meets like this because we can't count on the people in charge to have the sense God gave a goat! Get a new job. You're incompetent for this one.

When I was a kid if I had dehydrated myself and wound up with heat stroke my coach would have called me a name used for a feline and other things. 97 degree heat is nothing. Those kids probably were allowed the same hand coddling in their training and that might be why they weren't prepared to run in slightly higher temperatures.

1. These aren't children, they're teenagers.

2. Maybe if the LAUSD would get off it's rear and provide the necessary equipment, salt tabs, Gatorade and such, there wouldn't be this issue.

3. Thirty years ago, we use to run and hydrate accordingly, if it was 40 or 100 degrees outside. It's called PREPARATION and TRAINING. LAUSD has deteriorated in this are over the past thirty years.

4. When you're talking about ten students out of seven hundred participating, being hospitalized for heat exhaustion, it sounds like they were out of shape or ill-prepared to run.

What's next? Ban extracurricular sporting events?

You don't hear anyone talking about football even though the injuries and heat exhaustion problems are way in excess of anything that occurs in cross country. I wonder why?


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