Frustration in the Air as Faulty Fire Alarm System Sounds Off
Article by Ryan O’Donnell
On March 15th, 2018, the entire student body and staff at Kings High School were taken by surprise as the fire alarm sent its piercing siren-like sound throughout the school. They shuffled to get out, with confused looks on their faces, as they could not see or smell smoke. Much to everyone’s dismay, the culprit was discovered to have been a shuttlecock hitting the fire alarm during a badminton game in gym class. In a bizarre example of lightning striking twice, a nearly identical situation occurred about a week later. Additionally, in between the two incidents was a poorly timed instance where the fire alarm seemingly malfunctioned and went off several times in a single day. This incident triggered a small – albeit vocal – outcry from staff and students alike.
Students and faculty reacted with panic and fear, remembering the devastating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre that took place on Valentine’s Day of this year. The perpetrator, Nikolas Cruz, lured his victim out of classes by pulling the fire alarm to create a distraction. Coincidentally, the pulling of the alarm caused considerable confusion, since a fire drill had already happened at Stoneman Douglas earlier that day.
“It’s a very odd problem to have, it’s quite annoying, and it should be fixed,” says junior Ian Bartholomew. Fellow students expressed similar sentiments; many groaned and rolled their eyes as the alarm continued to sound off all throughout lunch. Students refused to even budge from their seats.
The situation was explained further by Principal Doug Leist: “The junior high fire alarm system is connected to the high school, so anything that goes on over there happens over here. I was annoyed, too; we might need a new panel, that’s expensive, and it could take away from something else I’d rather put money on.”
Government teacher Justin Frost had this to say, “I was concerned, you never know when it’s [the fire alarm] for real or not. I think administration handled it well. They looked into it, investigated it, which is what you should do when you hear a fire alarm.”
The administration has assured students and faculty that steps are being taken to make sure this problem does not occur in the future.