Oxnard Union High School District criticized for keeping students in smokey classrooms

- Parents and students at Oxnard area high schools are upset that the school district didn’t cancel classes Tuesday after heavy smoke from the Woolsey Fire enveloped the area, leaving students to go to class wearing masks in smoke filled classrooms.

Several of the students complained of health issues to FOX 11.

“Everyone was getting headaches cause of the fire and the smoke, everyone was getting nosebleeds too,” said Den Earl Dulos, a sophomore at Channel Islands high school.

Several of his peers made similar comments.

“My throat started hurting, it was just really hard for me to breathe,” said sophomore Ra Nunez. “I could taste the smoke and like dirt inside my mouth.”

“There was some smoke getting inside the class and especially we saw a lot of black smoke coming through the football field,” said sophomore Nikki Sincero.

Monday afternoon, the Oxnard Union High School District announced classes would be canceled on Tuesday, but just hours later, they reversed their decision, announcing that because the fire had been contained and there was less smoke, classes would be open again.

But the Woolsey Fire was not contained, and a major flare up Tuesday morning pumped large amounts of smoke into the Oxnard and Camarillo areas.

In a phone call with FOX 11 Tuesday evening, the district said they kept classes open because they didn’t expect the fire to flare up, or the winds to shift, and because most students are under the age of 18, they can’t just let them leave campus.

The district handed out masks to students, and went into an inclement weather protocol.

But that answer isn’t good enough for some parents.

“I’m really pretty angry about it,” said Hugo Nunez as he picked up his daughter. “I don’t think it’s right for our kids to be here.”

One student at nearby Adolfo Camarillo high school told FOX 11 they experienced the same smokey conditions on Tuesday.

“Everyone was getting headaches inside the classroom and it was pretty distracting too cause everyone wanted to see the smoke and everyone was talking about how school just didn’t cancel,” he said.

The district announced that all schools will be closed on Wednesday.

 

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