Parents and students expressed heat concerns at Morton East High School in Cicero

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Some students at Morton East High School said they went home early Wednesday because of the heat.

“I know other schools, they cancelled school because of the weather,” said Stephanie, who is a sophomore at the high school in Cicero. “I was like, why are we not cancelling school?”

Stephanie talked to NBC Chicago with permission from her parent and said she called her dad to pick her up from school because it became unbearable.

“My zero hour, which is like really early, it was hot,” she said. “Even though it was really early, it was still hot because they don’t have AC in there, just like fans.”

While some parents decided it was best to send their kids off to school, others opted for them to stay home out of an abundance of caution.

“I decided to keep her home and probably tomorrow also, because I don’t feel its safe for them to be in that environment learning like that,” said parent Felipe Salgado.

Salgado said his 15-year-old daughter told him that not all her classrooms have air conditioning.

“It was really hard to breathe in the classrooms, it's that hot. They don’t have any adequate air conditioning in the building,” he said. “She just feels exhausted”

The superintendent of Sterling Morton High School District 201 issued a statement to NBC 5: "All our campuses have operational air conditioning systems. To tackle any spaces without air conditioning, schools are implementing their established cooling protocols. Classes scheduled in rooms lacking air conditioning are moved to air-conditioned spaces throughout the day. In cafeterias and gyms without air conditioning, multiple large fans maintain air circulation. Students are encouraged to carry water throughout the day. Bottle fillers are located throughout the schools and water jugs and cups are available in physical education areas. Physical education classes also have some options to move to air-conditioned locations. Thanks to our dedicated teachers and entire staff, students remain actively engaged in learning and have their needs met."

“It’s not really a good learning environment, because I don’t see how the kids could pay attention when they’re trying to stay awake from passing out from the heat,” said Salgado.

One mother in Cicero District 99 kept her four kids home from Roosevelt and Liberty Elementary Schools. The district reassured parents their cooling system is functioning, but Krystal Balderas said she’s not taking any chances.

“Yesterday my daughter was complaining that it was too hot and that she couldn’t breathe,” she said. “They had one big fan blowing on one whole classroom, she said it wasn’t working.”

Meanwhile, Salgado said he’s frustrated knowing this has been an ongoing issue for years dating back to when he was a student.

“Nothing’s change in the education system and that school,” he said. “It’s kinda alarming to see that because we pay a lot of taxes I figured they would fix and update it by now.”

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