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More than fifty children checked out of CSAS for wildfire-related smoke in classrooms

More than fifty children were checked out of CSAS Monday.

Raging, drought-induced wildfires have created a thick level of smoke in the Chattanooga valley.

According to Hamilton County school officials, smoke from those nearby wildfires kept some students inside for recess.

But at one older school, smoke filled the hallways and classrooms, prompting more than fifty parents to pick up their children from school.

At Chattanooga School of Arts and Sciences, the thick smell of it remained, hours after school officials say the sight of it disappeared.

"You could visibly see smoke in the hallways, at the top of the hallways, in the cafeteria, places like that," says Principal of the upper school, Jim Boles.

Boles believes the smoke filled the school because of students coming into the building, in addition to the school's air conditioning units.

"Students coming in the doors, we also have window AC units, so the air from outside was being sucked into the school."

More than fifty children were checked out of school by their parents.

Latrice Edwards is one of them.

"It was optional, if we felt our child has allergies or asthma, you know, you could come pick them up or not, it's up to you," she says.

Edwards' daughter is a tenth grader who is sensitive to smoke.

"She does have allergies and she was complaining of her eyes itching and burning," adds Edwards.

She applauded the school for notifying parents so quickly, and allowing the day to count as an excused absence.

Principal Boles says it's important for parents to have that option if their child has breathing issues.

"At their discretion, they could check out students today for their own health reasons," he says.

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