Intercom fix imminent after long silence

One thing has been noticeably different this year at Park High. The intercom system, which also provides bells to the school, has been down since the first day. Lori Dust, Park High’s co-principal, said that one of the maintenance guys was working on something in the office, and then the intercom system just stopped working. Yes, not having bells and daily announcements is an inconvenience.  But the questions that everyone is asking is are we safe.

“We have different ways to communicate, whether we have a PA system or not.  Teachers have been trained on how we can communicate,” Dust said when asked if our safety is in jeopardy due to not having an intercom system.

Dust said that parents as well as community members have expressed their concerns about this issue.  When this happens both Officer Williams and Dust express that it does not pose any added problems.

Two plans have been set in place to communicate with teachers if there happens to be an emergency.  Though she did not talk about the specific plans, she was very reassuring that these plans would work.  Teachers have been told to keep their phones easily accessible for better communication.

Dust, along with SRO Officer Tim Williams, were not able to give a lot of insight on the details regarding the intercoms for safety reasons, however.

The teachers participated in a live shooter simulation last spring. Reflecting on that, Dust and Williams said that our teachers and staff are much better prepared.

“By going through that training, we became more empowered. Instead of feeling like we are victims and just waiting around to see what happened, we ended up knowing we can do something about this,” Dust stated.

Currently there are no laws requiring schools to have intercom systems, like they do for fire alarms. Our intercom system and fire alarm are completely separate systems, so we still have a functional fire alarm.

Dust was unable to give a timeline as to how much longer until the intercoms are back but said that it should be fixed shortly.