Silence surrounds students as PA goes on fritz

Not all silence is golden.


Gibson Southern gets the PA system fixed after a week of very faint bells.

Hayden Pennington, Reporter

As the adage goes, “Silence is golden,” but when spending years in a building where student movement is controlled by bells, that silence can cause chaos. Students look at their phones and keep close tabs on the time, not wanting to spend an extra second in class.

Recently, the Gibson Southern PA system went out, quieting those dismissal and tardy bells and ceasing all announcements over the intercom, which is one of the most vital ways of communication at school. The root of the problem fell on the amplifier in the PA system going out, making it very faint and hard to hear when administration was trying to communicate with students. The replacement amplifier was ordered shortly after the problem was discovered.

“One (amplifier) is ordered and is scheduled to arrive in 7-10 business days, that is what we were told last week,” Principal Jon Adams said. “Hopefully it is up and running correctly next week.” 

In the meantime, staff and students at Gibson Southern had to communicate clearly so no information was lost going from faculty to students. E-mail and announcements on Skyward helped keep everyone informed.

A company was hired to replace the amplifier and is currently waiting for the replacement part to be shipped in. 

“I feel the bell system is the most effective way to dismiss and communicate to students,” Adams said. “We have discovered how difficult it is when we are needing a student to track them down with a PA system not fully functional.”

With the PA system going out, it has become all the more evident to office staff that an effective and fully operational PA system is essential in the successful day-to-day operations of Gibson Southern.

“The students and staff report that they can not hear the office ‘all page’ students for messages, early release passes … so we are having to call in to classrooms, which we understand is an inconvenience,” Attendance Clerk Tracey Bender said. 

With the system down, the office staff are having to work even harder to communicate information and are anticipating the new amplifier to be installed, to remove additional stress and inconvenience from both students and staff. 

“The bell system being degraded has been an inconvenience especially when trying to hear info passed by the office,” English teacher Ian Gamroth said. “Whether it’s daily announcements or a tornado warning, the ability to get info to staff and students is critical. I think that we as a school have done an excellent job of adapting until the permanent fix is in place.”

The system is imperative for Gamroth and he, along with many others, are in anticipation of the fully operational PA system to return. 

Throughout Gibson Southern, the system being down has impacted many and made their jobs more difficult than normal. However, until the system is fixed, students and staff wait in silence.