B-CC Sprinkler Activates; Forces Evacuation

By Josh Garber and Lilly Behbehani

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School students were forced to evacuate during 6th and 7th period on November 13th after a sprinkler was activated in a classroom in the B Hallway of the third floor. The fire alarm rang twice in thirty minutes, prompting some students to leave school early.

The reasoning as to how the sprinklers were activated has yet to be determined, but Acting Principal Dr. Mooney confirmed that the circulating “bean theory” -- that a bean had caused the activation -- was in fact false. “What I have been told is that you have to hit the sprinkler pretty hard,” Dr. Mooney said. Other students in the class where the sprinkler went off say that students shot a bean using a rubber band at the sprinkler, which triggered the water.

The water from the sprinkler leaked to the second floor, damaging electronics and students’ personal items. According to Dr. Mooney, “The third-floor room actually had less damage [than the classroom underneath it], even though that is where the sprinkler went off.”

Fortunately, B-CC was able to clear out the water from the affected rooms that same night and the following nights because of MCPS’s contract with a restoration company that provides equipment to vacuum up the water and put in dryers during the nighttime.

While the classroom on the third floor was completely restored and the students were able to return to that class the following day, students in B226 were required to transfer to the basement for the subsequent days.

Students whose personal items were damaged from the sprinkler have been encouraged to file a report on what was damaged, including the cost and a picture of the item which will then be filed with B-CC’s insurance company. Students will be reimbursed for their damaged items.

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