Week after Fall Break features disturbing environment

Photo captured by Bella Doyle.

Photo captured by Bella Doyle.

Evie Smith, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Recently, Henry Clay High School’s name has been on the lips of more people, and not for the right reasons. Serious issues are disturbing and shocking the HC community and the public. 

Upon returning to HC after Fall Break, students were quickly made aware of the loud and obnoxious new bell system.  All bells now have a different sound, which is helpful, but the sounds of them are extremely unpleasant. The class bell sounds rather normal, yet is quite loud. The real issue is the one-minute bell. It sounds like a warning alarm signaling danger. Why this sound is used in any school is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The announcement bell is also obnoxious, sounding like loud airport alerts. While the bells have increased in volume and clarity, the P.A. system itself has decreased in volume and clarity, making it very difficult to hear and understand.

Also, following the arrival of students and faculty after Fall Break, was the news of yet another animal in the building. A raccoon was loose in the school and was not able to be caught. Traps were put out at night and when students were not in the building. However, they were unsuccessful for over half the school week. The security cameras, which were recently updated, showed the raccoon wandering around the school. Raccoons are animals that are prone to carry rabies. There should not be animals, especially rabid ones, in a high school that is filled with teenagers unable to control their urges. The raccoon was caught on Thursday, October 13th, but the school should’ve done more to catch the raccoon sooner, as this should never have been an issue, to begin with.

HC students and faculty were told that the new HVAC system would be completed during Fall Break. However, on the first Monday back, many classrooms were at impossible temperatures, with some being over 95 degrees. Students cannot learn in an environment like this. Switching classrooms to accommodate the heat issues is also not always an option, and when it is, is a confusing one for students who quickly have to figure out where to go during the short class change. After paying so much money for a new HVAC system, HC should not still have all the issues that it is experiencing. 

Next came the clocks. All clocks in the hallways are black screens, which is extremely unhelpful to students who need to know the time, so they get to class on time. New clocks are being installed throughout the hallways, but they are not turned on, nor are the old clocks. Although students have phones and watches, the hallway clocks are useful, and this delay makes getting to class much more difficult. 

The mice and snakes also cannot be forgotten. The infestation was not fixed over fall break. Students have started chasing the mice and messing around with them when they are found on the sticky traps. While sticky traps might be the most humane to the mice, they are also the most accessible, allowing students to find them and torment the mice. Snakes have also been stuck to the sticky traps. The snakes and mice have been an issue for weeks, and the fact the district has done nothing about it is disgusting.

HC should not be experiencing this many issues at once. The faculty and district should be doing the most to fix the issues and handle the problems, but they are not. FCPS has done little to assist HC and fix this mess. Students, staff, and teachers all deserve a safe learning environment. The district needs to get on top of these issues before more pop up; they need to learn from their mistakes.