High school student gets frostbite during fire alarm

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A ninth grader says she has frostbite after standing outside for 10 minutes in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm. It happened last week at Como Park High School in St. Paul.

On Wednesday morning the temperature was -5 degrees, and the windchill was -25. But Kayona and another student were warm inside. They were swimming as part of a health class.

"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," said Kayona Hagen-Tietz.

Kayona says she and the other student were rushed out by the teacher. Her classmate had clothes by the pool, hers were in her locker.

"I grabbed my towel and I walked outside and it was really cold," said Kayona.

"As soon as they saw her outside soaking wet and in her swimsuit, they should have done something," said her mother, Eva Tietz.

Kayona says a teacher eventually gave her a jacket and one of her friends gave her a sweatshirt to wrap around her feet. But due to school policy, she wasn't allowed to sit in a faculty-member's car.

"We kind of huddled up and made a circle around me and the other kids who were cold," said Kayona.

Eventually, a teacher did get permission to allow Kayona and the other student to sit inside her car. But, by that time Kayona had already stood barefoot and wet for 10 minutes in some of the coldest conditions of the year.

Kayona's mom picked her up and took her to the doctor, who determined she has frostbite on her feet.

"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," said Tietz.


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