A faulty smoke detector at a portable next to the Student Center likely set off a fire alarm at Palo Alto High School during 6th period today, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson.
The alarm went off at 12:38 p.m., Berkson said.
The student body evacuated to the football field, during a time when seniors in multiple AP classes were taking or studying for finals.
Bennet Huang, a senior enrolled in the AP Environmental Science, lamented the alarm’s demanding time chunk — 21 minutes from the time the alarm started to the all-clear. “It has given me less time to take my test,” Huang said. “I had only finished 30 out of 100 problems.”
Senior Johnny Rohrbach said he was studying for AP AB Calculus in the library when the alarm rang. “It’s a bummer because there are a lot of people taking finals right now,” Rohrbach said. “The alarm cut back on the time that I could have used to prepare for my finals.”
Students were allowed to walk back to their classes at 12:59 p.m. when the administration deemed the alarm false.