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Aug 9, 2012 6:31 PM

Outdoor exercise suspended at TUSD schools

TUCSON - A week of near record temps has many local schools concerned about student safety.

Many playgrounds across town were deserted as TUSD called for all schools to keep P.E. and recess indoors both Thursday and Friday.

The playgrounds outside of Anna Henry Elementary School are quiet, but indoors it's a different story.

The suspended outdoor P.E. and recess is making a lot of kids and parents very happy.

"Outside it's much harder because you're in the heat, and indoors there's air conditioning so it's easier for me," said Shane Homomichl, a fourth grader.

Shawna Holden has two daughters that attend Henry Elementary.

"I think they're being proactive as far as making sure that the kids don't get overheated just keeping the kids safe before something happens," said Holden.

Holden said that's always been a big concern for her daughters.

She said they're very sensitive to the heat.

"They have like little ice blankets that they put on their shoulders and have them lay down until they've cooled enough," said Holden.

To keep kids focused, teachers have even come up with creative indoor exercise programs like avatars teaching kids how to dance.

"It's one way to keep them inside and also get some exercise and get that energy out," said third grade teacher Lynne Hooge.

But there is a downside to exercising indoors.

"Well, outdoors, you can do a little more, you know we have kids run laps on the playground, there are courts and things out here," said John Ben-Asher, the school's principal.

Fourth grader Marcel Reddick said he doesn't mind exercising in the heat.

He said he actually prefers it.

"There's a lot of open spaces and stuff like that," said Reddick.

But as long as the head and humidity is to this extreme, everyone can agree, exercising in the AC is much more appealing.
Outdoor exercise is suspended for Friday as well.

TUSD has sent this statement:

"The district is concerned about the welfare of our students in such heat and humidity and took action to suspend outdoor P.E. after 10 a.m. Students will have recess and P.E. indoors until the extreme temperatures subside."

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