The real reason Columbus City Schools closed last week was about more than high temps.

Editor's note: This column originally ran Oct. 2.

By the time you read this, Columbus City Schools will have closed for its second straight day this week due to heat. It is possible they will close for a third day, as well.

Whenever a school system closes for inclement weather, there is a communal groan largely made up of three groups of people: parents who have to scramble to find guardianship with a day’s notice, employees of businesses that may have to navigate roaming teenagers with nothing to do and random adults on social media complaining about how soft today’s kids are. The first group is understandable. The second group is an emotional reflection of the cost of doing business. The third group is just annoying. And because I hate being annoyed, I was compelled to action — or, rather, science.

As a citizen who empathizes with students and teachers who have to negotiate education in school systems rotting from neglect, I wondered what it would feel like to sit and try to learn in a Columbus City Schools classroom with no air conditioning. Aware that no school would let me sit in a classroom for the express purpose of pointing out how bad its conditions might be, I did some research, talked to some affected parties, and finally sat in a hot car and tried to learn something for 45 minutes.

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