MEA week blackout ends school early

Aimee Brown

Cheers erupted from the cafeteria during lunch 5C, as the flickering slowly gave way to darkness. Caught off guard by this unexpected power outage, students stopped mid-step until what was happening fully developed in their minds. It was Monday, October 13th and the lights were out at BSM.

In response to the loss of power, Mrs. Mary Andersen, assistant principal, said, “We called the power company, but they [didn’t] know and therefore we [didn’t] know,” leaving the question of what caused the blackout unanswered.

With no set rules regarding the length of time BSM can hold students, the judgment of how long to wait is based on certain criteria such as the time of day, what the power company (Xcel Energy) says, and what the administration feels is best to do. Mrs. Andersen said, “We have to try to go with what the power company tells us, if they tell us something. If they tell us we could have less than a half hour [to wait], we wouldn’t cancel school, but they couldn’t tell us anything.”

When a power failure occurs, BSM initiates their routine procedure to handle the situation. “Right away we call Xcel to find out what it is…if it’s beyond our building, then Xcel has to fix it and they tell us what the problem is and give us an estimate of how long it will take to fix and from there we can make decisions,” said Dr. Sue Skinner.

The main problem that occurs with a power failure is communication. PA systems no longer work, the Internet is down, and the only way to spread information is by going from door to door.
The students’ reactions to this incident, however, were nothing but positive. Junior Tish Alexander said, “I think it’s the greatest thing ever!” Sophomore Shannon Cron said, “It’s fun to get out of school!”
Hallway congestion reached an all time high as people rushed to meet friends and leave school before the electricity had any chance of coming back. “That’s what part of teaching is, just going with the flow…and being able to make changes like this, ” said Mrs. Rosalie Goldberg.