extreme heat

‘I Couldn't Feel My Face': Boy Taken to Hospital After Trip on Hot School Bus

The first grader says his bus had no AC, and the driver wouldn’t let them open the windows. After he got off the bus, he collapsed, then vomited, his mom said

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The D.C. area has been brutally hot these past few days, but some students and even bus drivers say they've been sitting on school buses without air conditioning for hours this week.

Kamari Jackson had a big smile on his face Thursday morning, as he boarded a school bus for the first time on his way to elementary school in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

But when Kamari got home, his mother said, he could barely walk or talk.

"He was really red in the face; he was really clammy," said his mom, Kristen Carter.

"I was worried that I almost had a heat stroke," said Kamari, who is in first grade.

Kamari says his bus had no AC, and the driver wouldn’t let them open the windows. His mom says that after he got off the bus, he collapsed, then threw up.

Kamari says his bus had no AC, and the driver wouldn’t let them open the windows. His mom says that after he got off the bus, he collapsed, then threw up.

"I was scared that I would probably die; that’s how hot it was," Kamari said.

"That makes me so sad," his mom said.

Kamari continued, "I couldn’t feel my face; now I can, it’s right here."

Carter took her son to a hospital, and he’s now recovering.

Spotsylvania County Public Schools sent News4 a statement Friday saying student safety is a top priority. They also said, "With the current weather advisory, we are providing water bottles for the afternoon bus ride. Additionally, for buses that do not have air-conditioning, windows will be open."

The problem is happening all around the region. In Fauquier County, school bus driver Bobby Jenkins says his bus also has no AC.

"I was drained, I was," Jenkins said. "I sat in my seat for about 10 minutes just to get myself together, 'cause I felt like I was clammy; my head was hurting."

And in central Virginia, Buckingham County schools dismissed students early Thursday since their buses have no AC, either.

On the Virginia Department of Education’s website, this list of bus guidelines says air conditioning is optional.

As for Kamari, his mom says she’ll be driving him to school from now on.

"To be honest, I don’t ever want to go to school," Kamari said. "'Cause that just happened to me."

Spotsylvania Schools also said if parents want to pick up their kids, they should contact the school as soon as possible.

News4 reached out to Fauquier County Schools for comment, too, but we have not yet heard back.

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