Student claims she got frostbite during school’s fire drill
ST. PAUL (CNN) – A ninth-grader says she has frostbite after standing outside in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm.
On Wednesday morning, the temperature outside Como Park High School was five degrees below zero and the windchill was 25 degrees below.
However, Kayona Hagen-Tietz and another student were warm inside.
They were swimming as part of a health class.
Kayona Hagen-Tietz said, “The alarm went off and I was like, ‘Is it just a drill? Do I really have to go outside?’ And he was like, ‘No, we usually don’t have fake ones in the winter.”
Kayona says she and the other student were rushed out by the teacher.
Her classmate had clothes by the pool but hers were inside her locker.
She said, ” I grabbed my towel and I walked outside and it was really cold.”
Eva Tietz, Kayona’s mother, said, “As soon as they saw her outside soaking wet and in her swimsuit, they should have done something.”
Kayona says a teacher eventually gave her a jacket and one of her friends gave her sweatshirt to wrap around her bare feet.
Due to school policy, she wasn’t allowed to sit in a faculty member’s car.
She said, “We kind of huddled up and made a circle around me and the other kids who were cold.”
Eventually, a teacher got permission to allow Kayona and the other student to sit inside her car.
By that time, Kayona had already stood barefoot and wet for 10 minutes in some of the coldest conditions of the year.
Kayona’s mother picked her up and took her to the doctor, who determined she has frostbite on her feet.
Tietz said, “If I had a fire and brought my children out in that condition, I’m sure I would be charged in some way or another if I didn’t instantly bring them into a neighbor’s house or someplace else. The ultimate goal is to keep them safe and protect our children and in this instance, they did a really poor job.”