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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Admin says fire alarm triggered in gym, cause unknown

Teachers take attendance during the fire alarm today at 11:35 a.m. at Palo Alto High School’s Centennial Plaza. Despite the interruption, sophomore Annika Chu said her class was able to quickly adapt to the situation. “We all evacuated and got into our lines pretty quickly,” Chu said. “Our school handled it pretty well.” (Photo: Celina Lee)

Additional reporting by Veronica Qiu, Maxwell Zhang and Motoko Iwata

Class is back in session following a fire alarm disruption at 11:35 a.m. today at Palo Alto High School.

According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, the alarm was triggered in the gym and caused other alarms to go off around campus. Berkson said the school will be repairing the entire alarm system over the summer. 

Home Economics teacher Theresa McDermott said her class was in the middle of a cooking lab when the alarm went off.

“We have all seven kitchens engaged in baking right now, so we had to turn off the ovens and come out here,” McDermott said. 

According to sophomore Annika Chu, the fire alarm also interrupted the lesson plan in her English class.

“I was really shocked – I saw the light flashing half a second before the alarms started beeping so I got really scared,” Chu said. “We were doing a bunch of lab discussions. We were going around stations and analyzing Lord of the Flies.” 

Many students were frustrated by the disruption, including sophomore Harrison Lan who said the fire alarm interrupted his ceramics class.

“[It was] not great because it’s cutting into our class time, and we can’t get any work done,” Lan said. “A lot of it will become homework for other classes.”

Freshman Kaylee Manriquez had a similar experience, saying she was surprised when the alarm went off.

“It scared me at first because I was caught off guard,” Manriquez said. “I was watching a documentary, and my teacher Ms. [Roxanne] Lanzot told us to go to our spots and file into a line.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Feng
Anna Feng, Senior Staff Writer
Anna Feng (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys volunteering, listening to podcasts and spending time outdoors.
Kristine Lin
Kristine Lin, Managing Editor
Kristine Lin (Class of 2025) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys going on scenic hikes, taking road trips, and traveling to new places.
Ava Knapp
Ava Knapp, News Editor
Ava Knapp (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. She does cross country/track and field and plays the piano.

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