Clayton Schools canceling outdoor events Wednesday to avoid hazardous heat

Clayton Schools on Wednesday cancelled all outdoor activities, three weeks after Elite Scholars Academy student  died  in weather that exceeded a heat index of 100 degrees.
Clayton Schools on Wednesday cancelled all outdoor activities, three weeks after Elite Scholars Academy student died in weather that exceeded a heat index of 100 degrees.

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

Clayton County Schools on Wednesday afternoon cancelled all outdoor school activities for the day -- including physical education classes, unstructured play and athletic practices -- because of rising temperatures.

The district said it was making the call after a review of local weather forecasts predicted temperatures and humidity levels would “create adverse heat-related conditions.”

Clayton's decision comes as the school system continues to investigate the Aug. 13 death of 16-year-old Elite Scholars Academy student Imani Bell. The teen was doing basketball drills at the school when she collapsed and later died.

Temperatures in metro Atlanta on Aug. 13 reached a high of 100.3 degrees, with a heat index of 109 degrees by 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The district's heat advisory policy mandates that all outside activities be suspended when the heat index is 95 degrees and above. The policy extends to physical education classes.

At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday -- when the district announced its decision -- temperatures had climbed to 94 degrees with a heat index of 98 degrees.

“Students and staff are advised to remain indoors in a cool environment,” the district said in a statement. “In terms of scheduled athletic events, all high school softball games and cross country meets have been cancelled.”

The cancellations also extend to middle school football games, the school system said.