Power Outage: Powering Doubt

Blisse Kong ‘20

The lights flickered. They died. They didn’t come back.
On February 25, 2019, after hours of blustery, banshee-howling winds, the power went out around 10:15 AM at Ridge High School. According to younger students, the power went out at William Annin at around the same time.
Most of the school expected that the administrators at our school would resolve the issue quickly, so socratic seminars and quizzes (and long bathroom trips to get out of class) continued in dimness. Huddled up in coats, teachers and students alike rejoiced in the early dismissal announcement. Swarming through the shadowy corridors, we flooded out towards the buses.
A few parents felt concerned about the early dismissal, expressing their hopes that the school have a backup plan in case this happens again. Michelle Li ’20 says that “it was an unexpected occurrence” and is confident that the district will have a backup plan should an extended power outage happen again. Others also concluded that the event, while unexpected, will be a good learning experience for everyone.

Some have suggested that if this should happen again, administrators could work to have an emergency backup electrical system so that the school can continue its operations. Others argue that an early dismissal is best for the safety of the students and prevents potential accidents from happening at school while the power is out. With the power outage, many appreciated the professional manner in which the teachers acted during the power outage, quickly adapting to the situation and extending their lesson (or giving students a study hall) so that no one was left to worry. Will Chiang ‘20 says that “this situation can become dangerous very quickly,” acknowledging that the district did a good job this time with sending students home.

Parents received an email in the evening that explained the conditions of the outage and reassured them of their children’s safety.

Next time we’re in darkness, students hope, we can find the backup switch more easily.