The Unpopular New Kid: The New Bell

Bridget Kennedy, Staff Writer

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A Wheaton south student navigates the hallways wondering if he is going to be late to class. Rushing toward lower C, the student then hears a metallic screech from the intercom. It is not long enough to slip through the door of their class and they are now considered tardy. “This bell is so unfair”, the student says when having to retrieve a red pass from the office. 

The new buzz at Wheaton Warrenville South is all about the recent change in bell systems. According to students and staff at WWS, the bell is too short, too quiet and an ugly pitch. 

The old bell allowed students to slip into class with the remaining seconds of the passing period. The difference in seconds is very crucial in allowing these students to not receive red passes, especially if one is traveling a long distance. According to a survey conducted, 21 out of 51 Wheaton Warrenville south students said the bell length has affected them getting to class on time, meaning 41 percent of those students were late to class at least once since the new bell system has been installed. Junior, Kate Weber says, “I dislike it because it is too short.”

Similarly, students and staff said the bell is too quiet in comparison to the old one. 94 percent of students surveyed said there was at least one instance in which they did not hear the bell ring. This can be especially concerning when trying to hear the important announcements in the mornings, which students end up missing. “It is not very loud so often times I miss it. Like in the morning when we have to do the pledge, I along with my classmates, don’t hear it because it is very quiet,” said WWS student, Rian Klabunde. The bell being to quiet can cause unnecessary confusion in already academically confused classmates.

The student body is outraged by the metallic, high pitched noise the intercom lets out. Senior Audry Feitl says, “It sounds like a prison alarm”. In fact, 48 out of 51 students said they have heard other people talk about the bell in a negative way. 

Although the bell can be extremely annoying, it is important to note that only 54 percent of students know the reason for the change in bells. Most agree that the bell is not ideal, and actually 94 percent of students would prefer the old bell, but the safety concerns of the old bell cannot be ignored. The multiple fire alarms and the inability to make regular announcements can cause a potentially dangerous situation. 

The increasing need for protection in learning communities is growing because of the more occurring attacks on schools. Wheaton Warrenville South High School made the decision to install a safer and more up to date intercom system. According to the article School Safety: Up to Date Intercom Systems, Ted Systems, LLC, “The world we currently live in requires more precaution for the everyday safety of children than possibly any other point in history, which makes having an up to date intercom system more important than ever. Schools must be safe under everyday conditions, as well as emergency situations,” said Shannon Davis.

If more students knew the reason for the system change, there would be less of an outrage. “It is a new PA system, so we just need to be patient. As with all new things, it takes time to adjust to change,” said Mrs. Doyle. 

Even though the student had to receive his second red pass of the week, he is thankful for the opportunity to learn in a safe environment.