Admin installs alarmed emergency exits


Callum Holt '23

In an effort to maintain student attendance and protect students and faculty from potential outside threats, CHS admin has installed an alarm system on numerous doors on campus. Admin announced the installations via ParentSquare on May 1.

The alarms have been installed on two entry points to campus so far: the senior lot trail and the south-facing door on the H-building. The primary objective is to safeguard the student body by preventing unauthorized individuals from entering or leaving the premises. 

“We want to make sure that the doors stay unlocked during the school day for exiting in case of an emergency, fire or something like that,” said Assistant Principal of Student Safety, Facilities and Athletics Tyler Lee. “However, we need to have it alarmed in order to know if students are leaving campus, as that’s a safety issue if they’re leaving unauthorized or if there is any unauthorized entry.” 

According to admin, the alarms will free campus supervisors to monitor campus as a whole rather than being stationed at entry points.

“Prior to the alarms, we would have to have a supervisor at each of the doors, all day,” said Lee. “The alarms will allow us to use the campus supervisors to roam campus instead.”

During lunch and the end-of-the-day support periods, individuals with off-campus passes will still be permitted to exit through these doors, as the alarms will be deactivated during these times. However, outside of these specified periods, the doors will be armed with motion-sensored cameras, which will transmit any instances of entry or exit to the administration.

“Now with the alarms, there are camera notifications,” said Lee. “For instance, there’s a motion sensor on the H-door, and if someone leaves or enters, the camera sends me a [computer] notification, and we can take the precautions necessary.” 

Despite the intentions of administration, some have found the alarms to be inconvenient because students are diverted to the main gate, causing increased foot traffic in that area.

“[The alarms] make the walking place more congested and harm me when I’m trying to get back to class, as I have to go through the front gate along with hundreds of other students,” said sophomore Julian Saab.

H-building teachers were also frustrated by the disruption of the alarms when they were first installed but are growing accustomed to the change as early malfunctions in the system seem to be on the mend. 

“The first couple days [the alarm] was being installed, it kept going off because they were adjusting it,” said Didierjean. “It was a little bothersome, but I closed the door and it wasn’t as loud. I think everybody is getting used to it.”

Early issues with the alarms have also affected student concentration.

“We were just sitting doing our work, and we heard the alarm going off during my sixth period class a couple days ago,” said sophomore Avivah Kokin. “It really distracted me from my work.”

Despite early difficulties and some complaints over the new alarm system, administration has no intention of removing the alarms, as they are a part of improvements to campus safety.