By Matthew Valenzuela-Serrano
Independence is in a weird situation: an important part of campus infrastructure is being renovated, forcing the foot traffic to be split in two instead of the three options we had. The school fire alarms are broken and go off everyday like clockwork. So far today, Thursday, March 21, 2019, the alarm hasn’t gone off yet, but one day what if it goes off? What do we do then? Do teachers care when it does go off? Do we care enough to take every alarm as the real deal, or are there possible solutions to the problem?
It seems like everyday the fire alarms on campus tend to go off. Some teachers take every alarm as the real thing, others don’t care if the alarm is blaring and hard to focus on what they’re saying, but continue anyway. As of right now, none of us really know why the alarms go off, and we have such a huge campus that we don’t even know where the alarm gets triggered. It’s definitely, annoying but more and more teachers dismiss the alarms because of the numerous times it has occured. Nonetheless, it's easy to understand why teachers have been dismissing it lately. It interruptus their lesson, then we have to walk for a bit, then we walk back. It's a constant back and forth.
I had emailed the Principal Mr. Berg about the nuisance of the alarm, “I am grateful that we have such a comprehensive safety system and cannot stress enough the need to make sure our students and staff are safe from emergencies. Our safety team responds quickly to assess all situations and determine if the alarm is justified or not. I am also appreciative of our District maintenance and operations department that similarly responds to emergencies to make sure the system is functioning properly. When it is found that the fire alarms are caused by student actions we conduct a separate and thorough investigation of the event and respond appropriately to teach pro-social behaviors. Independence has a history of fires and we have worked closely to make sure our system functions properly to protect our campus. While the alarms may appear to be a nuisance, and I do not appreciate anything that interferes with the educational environment, student safety is the primary concern. Our system has been upgraded and improved in recent years, many buildings now have a voice alert rather than the traditional alarms. Recently I have been working with the district office to find solutions to prevent false alarms and help maintain the safety and serenity of our campus.”
Lately the alarms tripping has ended and became less of a nuisance and less talked about around campus.