Our View: Fix Tech System, Pronto

by The Cape Cod Chronicle

For the third time in three months, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School students found themselves fleeing from the Pleasant Lake school Tuesday morning after an armed intruder alarm was triggered. Even though all have been false alarms, we can only imagine the fear and stress this caused in both students and staff. As of this writing, school authorities and police were still trying to figure out what had caused the evacuation warning to go off, whether it was a malfunction or somehow was deliberately triggered.

By all accounts Tuesday’s evacuation was carried out as students and staff have been instructed — for the most part. Some students, rather than going to pre-arranged staging areas, fled toward Route 6. For obvious reasons, this poses a safety concern. The incident also resulted in ambulance calls for three potential injuries, although none appeared serious.

Students were clearly upset and frightened Tuesday, as they have been in the two previous incidents. Despite the fact that everyone took the situation seriously, there is a real risk that repeated false alarms will create a “cry wolf” situation. It is incumbent on school officials to track down the source of the false alarms and address them, even if it means replacing the entire system. The provider must be made to address the fixes necessary and demonstrate that the system is functional. School and police officials, students and parents should demand no less.

Of course, this would be less of an issue if past school shootings had prompted common sense gun laws on a national level. We won’t belabor that now. But whatever is causing the Tech alarm glitches needs to be corrected immediately for safety and peace of mind for students, parents and school staff, not to mention the wider Cape Tech community.