Attention all students and faculty members:

Random intercom announcements disrupt day-to-day operations


C. McFalls

An example of an accidental intercom announcement.

By Calvin Mcfalls

At least once every week, students and staff members at Huntley High School hear a frequent, but random, three dings and either static, a long pause, or silence. Many students and staff know this to have been random but similar in occurrence.

While these announcements might have been thought of as when a teacher accidentally hits the pager on their classroom phone, there is quite a bit of unknown history and reasoning behind why these phones and these announcements happen. 

Tom Kempf, an assistant principal at HHS, explained more about the system that is used. 

“A couple of years ago, our chief security officer, in an effort to make it easier to announce things like an intruder in the building, added a touch button on our phones, and it gets bumped all the time,” Kempf said. “What happens is someone tries to hang up or they’re moving papers, and they accidentally hit the button.” 

But while this is the most commonly known issue, something many people might not know about is principal Marcus Belin’s role in this. 

“Sometimes [Dr. Belin] tries to use his phone, and that generally does not work well because his phone is linked, and that can cause an error of going from cell phones to Wi-Fi,” Kempf said.

Belin uses this small feature quite often, although it might sound strange, in an effort to communicate easier within the building, if it would be a successful method at least. The issue lies within how the building operates with the intercom, and more so how the intercom operates within the building.

A known issue within the school, this causes many students and staff to lose their train of thought, sometimes in a situation that needs them to be focusing. 

“It is distracting. I am waiting for something interesting to be said or anything else,” sophomore Maggie Lawler said.

This was a common answer from many students and staff, and while it is somewhat uncontrollable, sometimes it can hinder important discussions, like for social workers. 

“You stop your conversation, especially when it’s not typically the time [for an announcement], like at the end of the day, or before school, or the third hour,” social worker Gina Migliore said. “It makes you think ‘what’s [going to] be the announcement?’” 

In other words, while these announcements are sporadic and random at times, remember that some of them come from a complex system that sometimes has user errors, sometimes an important message meant to be spread throughout the school, or it can be a mix of both.