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Updated: Feb 21, 2020

by CLARE FLANAGAN - How a cooking catastrophe and student misconduct drastically changed the course of one school day.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Nov. 1, 2019) - On the coldest morning of the 2019 school year, students of Westfield High School were interrupted from their daily schedules by the fire alarm. There had been no drill planned, and it was surprising to many that there was actually a fire in the school.

After about 30 minutes of waiting outside, the fire department declared it was safe to move into the MPIF and the main gym. There, students started games of “down by the banks,” “duck duck goose” and even a mini game of tag. Pictures, videos and memes of the incident were also quick to develop and make themselves prevalent on social media. As usual, the Instagram account @signupforcoreadvisery updated everyone almost instantly with the latest news and best memes. Before teachers made an announcement, most of the student body had figured out something had been burned in the Nutrition and Wellness class. The fire was later officially announced as a cooking accident by principal Dr. Stacy McGuire. This all occurred in the span of about 45 minutes; after that, the fire department allowed everyone to return to their classes.

Right after people made it to their second period classes, however, the fire alarm rang out again. Most initially thought it was an accident, until Dr. McGuire told the students and staff otherwise. In her impromptu speech, Dr. McGuire informed the school that it had indeed been a fire in one of the ovens that set off the alarm before, but reassured the student body that accidents happen. The second time however, one student had pulled the fire alarm as a joke. She made the serious consequences of those actions clearly known, as it was a crime.

“I’m not going to have one or two people jeopardizing the safety of 2,600 just because you want a little entertainment. Get an Xbox, figure something else out,” Dr. McGuire said.

After all of the chaos, the classes--save for third period--were all shortened to roughly 30 minute periods. Quizzes, tests and projects were rescheduled. Students and teachers alike groaned at the idea of how many adjustments would have to be made to accommodate these changes, but Westfield did what Westfield does best. Problems were solved, tests were made up and the next day returned to normal.

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