New period bell alarming to some

Emily Leung, Assistant Business Editor

The sound of the bell marking the end of class is one of the happiest sounds a student hears during the day. However, many Diamond Bar High School students were startled to hear a new digital bell when it rang on Jan. 22.
The previous bell sounds had been used ever since DBHS opened in 1982. However, the old bell was not very accurate or flexible due to the fact that it was mechanical. When the new $4.5 million math building was constructed, mechanical bells were not installed because administrators planned to set up a new digital bell system for the entire school. Over winter break, this new system was set up and tested.
According to Web Administrator and Technology Coordinator Randy Thomas, the difference between a mechanical bell and a digital bell is that “[former] bells are physical bells that are installed behind the clocks in most classrooms and on the exterior of buildings; [and] the [latter] are electronically generated tones played on the public address speakers.” The digital bell is thus much more accurate and, since it is synchronized through the Internet, will always ring at the correct times.
Another major advantage that comes with the new bell is that it can play a wide variety of sounds. On Jan. 6, Principal Catherine Real sent the teachers three different sounds to select from, and the winning bell was a single tone that plays at 350 MHz. Another one of the choices was a chime similar to the type of bell heard on some college campuses. This new digital bell system will enable the school to change the tones to fit certain special occasions.
Since the new bell started, however, not everyone on campus is very happy about the change. Even though the staff was given a chance to vote on the new bell, many teachers find the bell extremely bothersome and would much rather prefer one of the other choices. Many students also find the bell to be alarming and too similar to the lockdown bell.
“I just don’t like the new bell because I can barely hear it for passing period, and the tone is too low to hear over the voices of everyone. In addition, the bell is really loud in the 300 Building,” Junior Sarah Chan stated via Facebook.
In addition to the new sounds, another issue stirring comments on campus has been the absence of announcements over the last couple of weeks. When the new system was tested, the volume of the spoken announcements was lower than that of the digital bells, so balancing the volume levels took time and consequently caused the speaker malfunctions.
A new bell system initially seemed promising, but at least for now, many are not happy with this change.