Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

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A Look at HHS’s New Alarm System

A+set+of+alarms+at+the+three-door-exit+to+the+fields%2C+in+the+120s+hallway.+By+Will+Sartor
A set of alarms at the three-door-exit to the fields, in the 120s hallway. By Will Sartor

Two weeks ago, towards the end of winter break, Hingham High School installed localized alarms on all exterior doors of the building. Every single entrance and exit (of which I estimate there to be about 10), not including the main or Pleasant St. entrance, had a system set up. However, it was only on Monday of this week that the alarms were turned on, generating a series of student responses. 

On Monday, it was hard to miss hearing the sound of the alarms going off in the hallway throughout the day. I first heard it in the cafeteria at around 7:45 AM, after a handful of students entered the building from the cafeteria’s exterior doors. The alarms’ noise is not particularly loud or shrill, though it is certainly noticeable. Many people’s first experience with the alarms was also that morning, with the alarms on the exterior doors at the end of the 120s (facing the close lot) going off constantly until 8 AM when school began.

 Between classes, it was very likely to hear an alarm distantly echoing throughout the building if you did not directly pass them on your way to class. After all, the hallways that most frequently had alarms going off were the busiest. This is because although none of the hallways are ever really packed, when they are busy, people tend to gravitate towards the sides, including near exterior doors. Only pushing on an exterior door a little, including just bumping into the push bar of one, can possibly set off an alarm, hence why they so frequently went off the first day. Aaron Roberts, a junior at HHS, described how, by this point in the day, “I was kind of confused by the logistics of [the alarms]. I understand the safety concerns, and support the decision overall, but the alarms, in their current state, have so far only really caused some minor trouble.”

A set of alarms and a sign on two exterior doors in the 170s. Will Sartor.

Though, the alarms would not truly make their presence known until dismissal time on Monday. Although the alarms are meant to be deactivated at dismissal time, at and for half an hour after 2:32 PM, many of the alarms were not coordinated correctly on Monday, though this did not stop students from exiting from these doors, of course.

 Many alarms were going off across the school, though nothing of the sort has happened since then. Over the course of the week, the frequency of alarms going off has rapidly decreased, to the point that I, and many others, did not hear any at all on Friday. Regardless, many students have grievances with the current system. Owen Weinstein, a junior at HHS, noted how, “the alarms make it more difficult to leave if you’re being dismissed early or because of senior privilege. The school should prioritize safety, but maybe also think about adjusting the system.” While they can be annoying, they pose mostly minor inconveniences, if any at all, to students, and they inherently improve the safety of HHS.

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