MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis neighborhood group says it’s too hot for kids to be in class. They’re calling for their kids to be in schools, not “sweatshops.”

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A community group organized a news conference Tuesday afternoon denouncing the conditions in Minneapolis schools. The focus was on schools that don’t have air conditioning.

They spoke outside Patrick Henry, which is one of 18 Minneapolis schools that do not have air conditioning.

A representative for Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change says the sweltering conditions in some classrooms are an example of the inequity that exists between lower and higher income schools.

“We need to fund the schools, like the ones behind me. We need to fund these schools so these kids can focus and achieve,” Anthony Newby, with the community group, said.

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Students say it’s been hard to get anything done.

“They have the windows open and they have fans trying to circulate through the room trying to keep it cool in there even though it doesn’t do very well,” Patrick Henry High School freshman Shaheed Bell said.

Minneapolis schools did say any parent who wanted to keep their child home Tuesday could. Minneapolis also cancelled all after-school activities.

Minneapolis schools did get help from Target and the Salvation Army, who donated 5,400 bottles of water.

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At this hour, the school district could not tell us how many kids did stay home.

Esme Murphy