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VIDEO: How Extreme Weather and Climate Change-Fueled Disasters Have Closed Classrooms for a Million Kids This School Year

September 17, 2021

An elementary school burned to the ground as wildfires scorched Northern California. In New Jersey, a tornado destroyed a high school’s stadium. Floods from multiple hurricanes and historic storm systems damaged school buildings, paralyzed campuses and, in Louisiana, have forced 45 thousand students out of classrooms until October. Meanwhile, 20 schools in Columbus, Ohio had to start remotely due to excessive heat. Just this week, as Hurricane Nicholas forced schools to shutter in Texas, a mid-September heatwave forced schools in Baltimore to shorten school days. 

Amid a third school year already complicated by COVID, with some students returning to in-person learning for the first time in 18 months, extreme weather exacerbated by climate change has now led to closures that affected more than a million students across the country. The 74’s Meghan Gallagher looks back at the disruptions from the first month of the school year and offers a snapshot of the chaos and obstacles that one California superintendent dubbed the new normal. See all the images — click here to watch our full report.

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