Malfunctioning fire alarm sends students into panic at Stoneman Douglas High School

Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 05:28:29-04

Issues with the fire alarm randomly sounding at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland sent students into waves of panic this week, bringing back haunting memories of February 14, when the fire alarm went off as 17 people were killed and 17 more injured.

"There are literally kids crying at the red gates wanting to leave," Zachary Cooper wrote in a text message to his mom, Sharon, on Wednesday after he said the fire alarm went off twice in five minutes during lunch. “It’s actually horrible."

Students and parents say the alarm has randomly gone off multiple times since school began.

The high school's entire fire alarm system was identified as something that needed to be replaced in a 2014 district assessment for the SMART initiative. However, according to information on the district's website, several projects at MSD, including a new fire alarm, are still in the design phase.

“I think at this point, it’s critical that leadership decides that they’re going to move these systems up, implement them now instead of taking five or six more months to do it," said Kenneth Preston, student director for Americans for C.L.A.S.S. 

Superintendent Robert Runcie tweeted Wednesday night saying Coral Springs Fire Department will be at the school monitoring the fire alarms. 

BSO's Parkland District sent a tweet saying a malfunction caused the alarm to go off Wednesday morning and the defective part has been replaced.