School evacuation a false alarm


Natalie Brown

The fire alarm pull down box is located in a position often bumped by student backpacks.

When the fire alarm sounded during fourth period Monday, many students and faculty members guessed the building evacuation wasn’t a typical drill because they’re not usually scheduled during the lunch period. Their hunches proved to be correct when the administration revealed later in the day that a student in the band room had inadvertently set off the alarm.

“This is the third time in six years [a student has triggered the alarm],” School Resource Officer Chuck Landmesser said. “Two of the three times were in the band room. It’s actually a below-average amount, compared to other schools.”

Still, such disruptions are cause for concern.

“[The administration] is contemplating  putting a cover on it,” said Landmesser, adding that it is unlikely the pull-switch box will be relocated.

“They try to put them close to light switches for easy access,” he said. “It’s in a bad place [in the band room] because it’s situated right by the stairs. You just have to be the right height.”

Band teacher Carol Allen expressed dismay when the incident occurred.

“I was annoyed, but I didn’t really have a reason to be annoyed because nobody did it on  purpose,” she said. “It was just inconvenient and somebody leaned up against it. In eight years, it’s happened four times in the band room. It needs to be covered.”

In the meantime, Allen said she has adjusted her classroom procedures.

“I’m going to try to keep people from standing by the door before lunch,” she said. “I’m hoping for a cover.”