Heat stroke isn’t reserved for student athletes who wear pads and helmets. It afflicts the ones who carry and play instruments as well.
As reported by Oklahoma Fox affiliate KXII, members of the Atoka High School marching band suffered from severe dehydration and heat stroke after they took part in a practice held during a Southern heat wave.
According to KXII, six members of the Atoka band were taken to a clinic and three were hospitalized. It’s not known whether the three who were hospitalized were sent there after they had already been to the clinic, or if there was a total of nine band members who were effected. At least one member of the Wampuscat marching band was hospitalized with heat stroke.
The scene was clearly an upsetting one for the teen band members who were taking part in the practice.
“One girl started having an asthma attack so she had to go sit down and then other people started dropping down and like saying they couldn’t breathe or that their legs were collapsing,” Atoka band member Trinity Blevins told KXII.
While Atoka band director Samuel Karafotis was apparently in compliance with school regulations regarding water breaks, band members said the water breaks provided were, “gush and go’s”, intended to minimize the time spent rehydrating during practice sessions.
While that practice may have backfired this time, Atoka Superintendent Jay McAdams insisted the band schedule this summer is identical to ones used in previous years, practice slates which never caused issues in the past.
Now the Atoka marching band will clearly have to re-evaluate its practice priorities, putting an emphasis back on student safety.