Reader-submitted: It’s 2017 – why is there no air conditioning on school buses?

The year is 2017. I’d like to know why our kids are going to school in 95 degree weather in school buses that have no air conditioning?

We have big fancy new buses, yet our kids sit on the bus for an hour with no air condition. Just because kids can’t speak up for themselves, should these kids be denied air conditioning? Is it that complicated to install a system?

There’s no reason my child needs to come home red in his face on days like these.

Air conditioning on buses should be required by law. Our lawmakers are busy with a lot less important things. A child’s health and wellbeing should be way up there on the list.

Thank you,


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  1. Great Letter

    on behalf of Parents of Yeshiva Bais Hatorah i need to thank Rabbi Nissenbaum when our children didn’t have busses he went and purchased 10 brand new busses and spent 10,000 extra to make sure they have air conditioning! Rabbi Nissenbaum you raise the bar and you show what it means to care about school children!

  2. Bais Hatorah Administartor told me that because of Tzar Baalei Chaim, aside from his first three buses, he learned from his mistake and all his other 9 buses were purchased with full AC

  3. Air conditioning or not, the bigger concern I have is that my daughter’s bus driver does not allow the girls to drink water on the bus. While I understand that water spills easily and is difficult to clean up, my second-grade daughter was very concerned about her hour-long bus ride home in the heat with no water.

  4. I asked my child’s bus driver today if there is air conditioning on the bus, and was shocked with his answer. NO. It really poses a safety concern. There are kids on the bus sometimes for an hour, and it can get really hot in the mid afternoons.

  5. The ultimate cost to run the hundreds of buses our district needs, with heavy-gas-consuming air conditioning (& the extra costly maintenance) would be very expensive and would just cost us even more in taxes.

    You’re welcome to buy your child a portable fan if you want.

    • It is actually cheaper to run the AC because the open windows create drag which burns gas quicker. There will always be maintenance needed with or without AC. Running the AC burns gas quicker is a myth.

  6. You can’t be serious. When I was a kid, there was no air in schools. Living in NY, we walked to school, didn’t have the privilege of a bus, had to pay for the local bus. Walked 2 miles in snow, rain, heat, etc. OPEN A WINDOW, you child’s going to be ok. We all survived; so will they. Enough already. Also, no air in our home, six kids, we’re all fine, no harm.

    • On my child’s bus there is some kid who has allergies or s/t and claims the windows cant either be opened. Any time someone opens and window she says ‘my mother says its dangerous for me and closes it’. In other cases, drivers dont like windows open because the kids forget to close them or stick their hands out etc.
      Air conditioning is actually a reasonable thing. Children years ago also were forced to work as farm hands from a very early age. Using ‘it worked in the past’ as an excuse is getting a little old…

      • I know, both my grand daughters have severe allergies and asthma. Had to call 911 one time. I get it. Didn’t mean to insult anyone. When I was a kid, we never had or knew anything about allergies. Things are so much different now.

    • We also survived without play dates, seatbelt, bike helmets, shin guards….I could go on.

      A bump, a bruise, a little sweat….makes for stronger and more appreciative adults.

  7. Not only do delivery mend not have A/C thousands of people in Lakewood what work in warehouses don’t have A/C.

    Treat your kids soft, they maybe in for a shock when they find out real life isn’t

    They definitely should be allowed to drink water though.

  8. Let me teach you a little something. Even if you are correct, complaining does little.
    life is about overcoming challenges.
    Challenge: No ac on bus.
    Solutions: Brainstorm to overcome the challenge.
    1- buy a portable mini fan for your child
    2- send a wrapped frozen water bottle in the morning, should be very cool for way home
    And so on….
    Good luck dealing with lifes many challenges!

  9. @raintree: The air quality of Brooklyn and Lakewood was much better when you and I went to school. Right now there’s an ozone alert, which we never had, which is a serious health risk, on top of all the vehicle exhaust irregardless of emission controls which the State no longer measures at the tailpipe.

  10. how about no air in classrooms. the project to heat and cool public schools may just now be complete. until then the elementary schools and most classrooms in middle didn’t have a.c.

  11. You people are amazing! We all talk about how dangerous it is to leave a child in a car on a hot day FOR EVEN ON MINUTE. The writer of the letter is bring up a legitimate point. Our kids are on the bus for up to an hour and a half in sweltering heat and you talk about teaching kids about real life ?!? At least make believe you care!!

    • There is a difference in leaving a baby that can’t get out of the vehicle on their own in a car with the windows closed and not moving compared to a bus with all the windows open and the bus in motion moving air around. I did not have AC in my classrooms or school buses and I survived.

  12. As times have changed and we are now accustomed to ac, it is definitely a necessity to have ac especially on metal buses which can become close to sitting in an oven when out in the sun. Cars are made of plastic today. Buses are still metal and retain heat. Very dangerous and should definitely be unlawful.

  13. Agreed and well said. That is aside fro the fact that a bus is metal and therefore gets a lot hotter in the interior than a car does . Very dangerous!

  14. All of you who kids should be fine driving for an hour on an un-air conditioned bus, you try driving for 15 minutes without your AC on and see how you feel. Our taxes might go up, but isn’t it worth it??? We pay higher taxes to have our kids driven to school so we don’t have to carpool. We are paying for OUR convenience. Isn’t it worth it to pay a little extra so our CHILDREN can be comfortable???

  15. To those those who say ” let them tough it out”, I would love to see them in car with no AC. Come on, a little empathy.
    But a bigger concern, no monitors on the busses, the bullying is terrible. And plz don’t say ” it will toughen them up, in my day…

  16. So is the reader submitted author prepared to pay higher taxes for the air conditioner? Its not just the cost of the extra gas. Its also the cost of installing and maintaining.

    If yes the OK. Its a fair argument.

  17. You aren’t doing your childen any favors by coddling them.

    Do the parents who are complaining about AC let their kids play outside in the summer, or do they keep them locked up in the AC house so they won’t have to sweat?

  18. My doughter comes home after being on the bus for 1 hour shes red in the face and she says the bus driver does not allow the girls to open the windows its a bus of 5 year olds and they all listen.
    this is a real concern!!
    the issue of there not being seat belts on the bus is also a Huge concern how is that not a law? is a bus safer then a car?
    but I agree with ELI that the biggest concern is that lack of a adult besides the driver on the bus, I dont belive that 90% of lakewood would be ok with the bus driver being a babysitter in there homes for an hour, how is ok to send them without supervision for 2 hours a day??

  19. There has bean many studies about seat belts on buses & have come out that children are safer without seat belts then with. A few weaks ago the Hamida had an article about this

    IT SHOULD BE THE LAW!! WOULD YOU ALLOW ANY DRIVER TO DRIVE YOUR CHILDREN 5-12 YRS OLD FOR AN HOUR TRIP IN THEIR PRIVATE CAR?? SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? (Especially if your child is the first stop picked up, or last one dropped off).

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