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

October 1, 2010 |  9:44 am

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