Cleveland schools without working water fountains during lead testing

Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 12, 2016

Newton D. Baker is one of the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools that doesn't have air conditioning. Multiple sources confirm that there are no working water fountains in the school because it's one of dozens of schools being tested for lead.

It was so hot in the classrooms of the school last week that one mother, who did not want to be identified, said the heat made her son sick. She said he called her to come and pick him up because he wasn't feeling well.

"He was red faced, dripping in sweat, his polo was drenched," she explained.

CMSD contracted with a company to provide water coolers for the schools that have had the drinking water turned off. But the problem last week was that the water ran out, according to several sources.

"She said 'there ain't no water here.' I said, 'what do you mean there is no water?' She said they ran out of water hours ago," said one mother.

Parents and teachers differ with the CMSD about the lack of water.

The school district said the school was never without water. The spokesperson for the district said in a statement,

The allegation is false, no CMSD school was without water on any day during the heat wave, including Newton D. Baker.

When water supplies in the water coolers ran low last Wednesday, our central kitchen delivered an ample supply of bottled water and Gatorade  to the main office and school cafeteria at Newton D. Baker to keep students and staff hydrated until Culligan arrived a few hours later to restock the water coolers. 

Water fountains in more than 60 CMSD schools have been turned off since June to enable comprehensive water testing. Hence, the widespread presence of chilled Culligan water coolers across the district that proved to be a blessing at numerous schools, including Newton D. Baker, during the heat wave last week.