To Be or Not To Be Saved by the Bell: Why Trinity Hall Should Not Adopt a Bell System

By Jackie Fletcher, Features Editor

Picture a classic high school movie: kids stare at the clock, waiting for it to bring them to salvation. Their thoughts are muddled by the prospect of being free, and the teacher speaks aimlessly for the final three minutes of class as everyone begins to assemble their belongings. Before the teacher can finish his or her final remarks, the class jumps up at the sound of the bell, leaving yet another class unfinished and interrupted.

Fortunately, the previously described narrative does not happen at Trinity Hall because it does not use a bell system. Rather than rush and scurry around the school at the mercy of a bell, our school correctly employs a system far superior.

Both teachers and students are well aware of the start and end times of classes and have thus far been able to switch classes according to the time frame allotted. Without a bell, students are attentive for the entire class period since they understand that when the teacher is finished with his or her thoughts, the class will end. The absence of a bell emphasizes the teachers’ and students’ engagement in the classroom not just their mere presence as they robotically wait for the prescribed time to pass.

In addition, the notion of being controlled by a computer-generated sound system undervalues a person’s autonomy. Humanities teacher Lauren Pappa, who previously taught at a school that used bells, said, “We are humans with free will and the ability to discern when it is time to go.” I could not agree with her more. Moving throughout the school day according to a more organic and natural rhythm provides for a more conducive learning environment.

A bell moves both students and teachers along like cattle, in a zombie-like manner. It adds unneeded hassle and haste into the school day as teachers and students alike scramble to begin and end class according to the ringing of the bell. A computer program should never have the ability to tell a teacher to stop speaking or a student to stop working; only the teacher and the students should have the power to do so.

As a school that values the individuality, creativity and independence of its faculty and students, adding a dictatorial bell would undermine everything we stand for.

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