The School that Cried “FIRE!”

Cartoon by Aura Rodriguez

The safety of students is at risk. Despite the recent nationwide school shooting scare, I feel administration’s first priority on student safety shouldn’t be implementing the new ID cards for next year, but a problem that can pose a more serious, immediate danger if not addressed- the fire alarm situation. IDs are preventive measures; they help security to know whether a person on campus is supposed to be or not. Fire alarms protect students from immediate danger in the case of a fire.

The likelihood of someone bringing a gun on campus and declaring it student hunting season is very low. But can you imagine how easy it would be for a fire to engulf WCHS?  A careless Chemistry student could forget to turn off a gas burner. How easy is it for someone walking on the street to throw a lit cigarette onto dry grass along the fence? And it’s no secret that there’s an issue with students smoking marijuana on campus (Another school issue that hasn’t been fully taken care of).

Obviously, if they’re smoking, they have lighters with them. Stupid teens and fire don’t mix.There’s quite a few high voltage boxes on campus–one by the girls’ locker room and another behind L17. The computer labs have masses of tangled wires- just one faulty wire could start a fire. We’re not as fireproof on campus as we’d like to think we are. These are just a few of the countless ways a spark can start a blaze on campus.

Fire alarms no longer phase us. They go off so often–during class, lunch, in the mornings, and most recently fifth period March 6. The problem has been going on since the beginning of the school year, and now, second semester, it hasn’t been fixed yet.

We have a few fire drills a year. We’ve been doing practically the same drill every year since kindergarten, just at different schools. The alarm goes off. You get in line at the door.  You go to your class’ assigned spot.  You hold up a sign implying that everyone’s accounted for.  And then you leave.

You could say that we would know what to do in the case of a fire. But can we really boast that we’re safe at WCHS if not one person questions that the flashing lights and annoying, unmistakable “EH-EH-EH” is just the alarm going off on accident… again.

We’re so used to the alarm just going off randomly throughout the day that administration no longer feels the need to let us know on the PA system that there’s no danger of being burned alive–example, February 19. Nor are we warned in advance that the alarm may go off during the day.

Apparently an alarm system that’s mandatory for every school to have takes the back seat to IDs. Why spend so much money on a new system instead of using that money to fix or replace a more important one?

This article was originally published by Newsbytes Online.

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