The Blue & Gold

Ding Dong, the Bell is Dead

A+member+of+the+CCHS+community+has+taken+to+taping+their+own+%22times%22+onto+the+disabled+clocks+around+the+building.
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Ding Dong, the Bell is Dead

A member of the CCHS community has taken to taping their own

A member of the CCHS community has taken to taping their own "times" onto the disabled clocks around the building.

Photo by Ashley Veazey.

A member of the CCHS community has taken to taping their own "times" onto the disabled clocks around the building.

Photo by Ashley Veazey.

Photo by Ashley Veazey.

A member of the CCHS community has taken to taping their own "times" onto the disabled clocks around the building.

Stella Garrett, Staff writer

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Update: As of Friday, February 22, the third-floor bell system appears to be working again.

Students and teachers expecting normal temperatures, accurate clocks and audible announcements throughout Chamblee Charter High School have been, and continue to be, disappointed. Throughout the past few weeks, the school has dealt with many structural issues causing student and teacher inconvenience, including a broken P.A. system on the third floor, imprecise clocks mounted throughout the hallways, and thermostats slow to adapt to outside conditions.

The most obvious concern that comes with malfunctioning bell and P.A. system on the third floor is that students are unable to hear when class begins and ends. However, there are also safety issues that come with not being able to hear the bells.

“I never know when class starts or when it ends. I’ve also had a lot of [substitute teachers] that have been confused and we’ve had to explain it to them,” said Daniela Valle-Ramos, a student here at Chamblee, who has a lot of classes on the third floor like the majority of her sophomore peers.

The malfunctioning of the bells has resulted in no safety drills in over a month, despite the fact that Georgia government requires every school to complete one each month. These drills include fire and intruder drills, which teach safe habits to students in case of emergency.

“The big [concern] is not knowing about intruders. If we were to have one, there’s no way for them to tell the third floor that there is an intruder alert. I don’t know if fire alarms would sound or not because they might run on a different system. Other than that, I’m not overly concerned about the bells because I can tell time,” said third floor teacher, Theresa Abernathy.

Safety is, as it should be, a big concern for parents, teachers and students alike. The inability to fully communicate with the building can increase the already-present anxiety that many students, like Valle-Ramos, feel.

“I’ve always thought that the administration never tells students when something is happening. It’s kind of to be expected that whenever anything changes we don’t really know. My mom might tell me because she got an email or we have to ask teachers and figure it out,” said Valle-Ramos who has expressed, like many others, the feeling of a lack of communication.

Luckily, administration is hard at work fixing the problem and creating quick solutions.

“We’re just waiting on a part [for the P.A. system],” said assistant principal Clifton Spears, who has been using a bullhorn to indicate third floor class changes. “The bullhorn is just something fun.”

In addition to discomfort surrounding the disorganization of the P.A. system, students must often contend with temperatures far higher than necessary. This problem stems from school temperatures within the DeKalb County School District being controlled centrally from the district office.

“Ever since this building was built, it has had problems with the heating and air conditioning. My room, in particular, is never right,” said science teacher Deann Peterson. “One of the problems with the science rooms, in particular, is that we have fresh air vents and they closed those off, fixing the problem of why the rooms got so cold in the winter time, but also mean[ing] that we don’t get fresh air. It gets really, really stuffy.”

In addition to the malfunctioning thermostat, the analog clocks mounted throughout each hallway of the school are all set to different, incorrect times and seem to be getting more off-kilter with each coming day. The problem is due to faulty receivers and transmitters in the clocks.

“The clocks in the hallway are apparently missing a broken part which is not allowing them to sync between the sensor and the receiver,” said Peterson. “It hasn’t really affected me in the classroom because, for the first time in [the students’] lives, we’re asking them to pay attention to their phones [to tell time]. It’s just hilarious.”

About the Writer
Stella Garrett, Staff writer

Stella Garrett is a sophomore and staff writer. Outside of journalism, she likes thrifting, taking naps, and listening to music. This is her first year on the staff.

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