Find Out What Went Wrong

When more than three dozen school band members have to be taken to hospitals for heat-related sickness, something has gone wrong — badly.

It happened Thursday at John Marshall High School’s Monarch Field. As we reported, 37 students had to be taken by ambulance to local hospitals. Emergency medical technicians treated a number of other youngsters.

Dehydration was the problem, officials said.

It happened while students from JMHS, Moundsville Middle School and Sherrard Middle School were practicing for a special band program on the new artificial turf surface at the stadium.

Part of the idea of practicing on the new turf was to acclimate band members to it, said Marshall County schools Assistant Superintendent Corey Murphy. He noted heat tends to radiate off artificial turf.

It does indeed. It is reasonably common knowledge that temperatures on an artificial turf surface can be higher than on grass.

It is not uncommon for school band members to practice in high-heat environments. Precautions are taken to deal with those who become overheated — and to avoid that happening to a large number of students.

So what went wrong Thursday? Clearly, something did. Having to summon 16 ambulances and send youngsters to three different hospitals is not an “accidents will happen” situation.

Marshall County school officials need to investigate what occurred Thursday. It cannot be allowed to happen again.

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