New Bells at Byram

By Raquel Kanner

The new school year has begun, which means that several noticeable changes have occurred. There are new teachers, new educational programs, and new renovations, but one thing has stood out to students and faculty alike: the new bell. Although this may seem like a small change, the new bell has created controversy across Byram Hills. While some think the new bell is a good change, others disagree.

I asked Mr. Walsh a few questions so that I could gather a better understanding as to why the administration decided to change the tone of the bell. He stated, “We switched to the new bell because last year as principal, I started to get irritated by it. I started to think about the students’ experience here and just the little things I might be able to do to make lives a little bit easier. Instead of hearing the alerting sound and rushing from class to class, the new sound is a way to alleviate this stress. ” He also mentioned, “Our bells are actually run off of our phone system, so I asked the person who runs the system if we had the ability to change our bells. She gave me thousands of different options that we could choose from, including Chinese gongs, fog horns, and other ridiculous ones. It probably took me about two hours, and this was the only one I could actually feel reduced stressed when I heard it. It was also a throwback because it took me back to the movie Grease.” Mr. Walsh also brought up the idea about the possibility of students actually coming up with their own bell and maybe voting every month or quarter!

Even though the new sound throughout the school has caused differences in opinions, many believe that the new bell is a positive improvement. Freshman Lizzie Manowitz explained, “The new bell is very relaxing and calming. It’s a nice way to end the period and start a new class.” Without the old, harsher bell sound going off every fifty minutes, the new one reduces stress throughout students. Ninth grader Alexa Cohen also elaborated on this idea, saying, “It is good, especially when you have a test the following period because it doesn’t startle you with an abrupt noise.” Junior Elyse Kanner agreed, stating, “I think it was a nice change made to the school.”

However, not all students agree that the new bell was a positive change. Freshman Luke Briody explained that the new bell, “Is very quiet and you can’t hear it. It makes it harder to know when the classes start and end.” David Gold agreed with this statement and added, “It is very irritating.” He thinks that the old bell, with the strict, straightforward alert should’ve stayed, and that it would have easily helped the transition from class to class. This controversy around the new sound has formed many opinions, including some negative ones.

This one small, seemingly meaningless, change, has had the power to raise controversy and discussion, school-wide. While some feel the new bell is an amazing improvement, others feel that it never should have been altered. Whether you have a positive or negative take on it, we can all agree that the new bell has had an impact on our daily routines here at Byram.