Managing the Malfunctioning PA System

By Bing Chen

The school’s PA system has been noticeably malfunctioning since students returned from their mid-winter break. There are some days when the sounds are audible and on time, while on other days it is nonexistent or too loud.

Many students are left confused about the timing of their classes when the bell is difficult to hear.

Doruntina Fida ’17 said, “I think the bells cause a big problem in the school. The volume of the bells is very low and is hard to hear. They can make a lot of students late to class, when it’s not their fault.”

The bells and PA system are necessary to keep the school in order. They are used to signal the start and end of classes.

On the other hand, the bell malfunctioning does not negatively impact the teachers as much. Many teachers know when the each period ends and rely more heavily on the clock in their rooms than the bells.

Park Fung, a DDP teacher, said that the inaudible bell “does not really impact class,” as he knows when the class ends.

Brandon Chui ’15, on the other hand, finds the malfunctioning bell to be a bigger issue.  “It needs be fixed due to the fact they cause distractions in class frequently.”

According to the Assistant Principal of Organization, Jennifer Sullivan, the bell malfunctioning is due to the broken PA system. Sullivan says that the school has a 5-year plan to fix the system, but in the meantime they have to make do with the old. It would be costly to fix the system right away when there is a long-term plan to fix it.

Meanwhile, the staff is not sure why the bell is malfunctioning. Sometimes they work in the morning and shut off later on in the day. It can be very frustrating for teachers.

Sullivan said, “it drives them [teachers] crazy.”

On occasion, the morning announcements during third period have been disrupted due to the malfunctioning system.

Another effect of this problem is that the school has to constantly test the fire alarms to make sure they are working as to keep the building safe. Not only does the testing affect the staff, but it also makes the lives of nearby residents more difficult.

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