Following a recent fire on the roof of the Korpi ice rink at Bayonne high school at 669 avenue A, there was a containment order. However, some staff and students in part of the school did not receive the shelter-in-place memo, according to a teacher.
Andrea Resetar addressed the Rectorate of Bayonne during its meeting on June 13. She is a teacher in the House 3 part of the school and is also a union representative for the staff in this part of the building.
“I rise tonight to express my concern over the manner in which a recent fire on the roof of the ice rink was handled on May 26,” Resetar said. “The high school house 3 intercom system had been out of service for about a month at the time of the first solar panel fire. After three weeks of asking my assistant manager about the status of the intercom system, and they didn’t know, I emailed Mr. [Richard] Baccarella about the frustrations the House 3 staff felt. As a House 3 union representative, I received complaints on a daily basis. Staff were concerned about safety, especially in an emergency.
Resetar said she was assured there were contingency plans in place in the event of an emergency and there was nothing to worry about.
Then came the response to the fire.
“A teacher noticed smoke on the roof of the ice rink around 11:30 a.m., I learned of it on the morning of the 26th,” she said. ‘The House 3 office was notified but no fire engines arrived on the scene to my knowledge until around 12.30pm. I only became aware of the problem when my students in period 6 who had been released from my room at 1:12 a.m. returned to my room in period 7 saying they had nowhere to go . They were supposed to have PE in the rink and they weren’t released from the building.
No notification at home 3
According to Resetar, no staff member was ever informed by the administration that there was shelter in place.
“Apparently House 3 was never informed in any way that shelter-in-place was in fact in place,” she said. “About five minutes later after the students arrived, the House Secretary came to say we had shelter in place. We were left in limbo after that.
Although the House Secretary eventually personally notified teachers and staff at a shelter-in-place, there was no further communication from the administration.
“Students received text messages from parents saying there were fire engines at the rink,” she said. “I received an alert as a parent that the students were going to be released at 1:40 p.m. Yet when I looked at my school’s email, there was no list of what I was supposed to do in as a teacher If I hadn’t been a parent of a student at Bayonne high school, I wouldn’t have known what to do.
According to Resetar, after the students were released, teachers were in the hallway debating whether they could go home or should they stay in the building. She said no one was there to answer her questions.
“So I’m asking, if this was a relatively minor emergency in the scheme of things, and that’s how things were handled, how do you intend to inspire confidence in your staff that their well-being and the well-being of students is really addressed? ” she asked.
Resetar’s point was even more poignant following the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Resetar asked if Principal Richard Baccarella was really on a Zoom call and unaware of what was going on, and if so, who was supposed to be second in command. She also asked if there weren’t too many security and administrators at the school when this happened. Resetar also suggested more drills without an intercom and also pointed out that solar panels were a recurring problem with the fires.
“I don’t know what the solution is,” she said. “I was assured there was a solution. Apparently there wasn’t. If it was a minor emergency and that’s how things were handled, how am I- I supposed to have confidence and tell my people that I represent that they should have confidence in the system in place.I recognize that we have an old building and an outdated system, but I was assured that something was in place.
Officials acknowledge that the intercom system is down
In response to questions from Resetar, School Affairs Administrator Daniel Castles acknowledged that House 3’s intercom system was down but being repaired.
“The things you touched on are correct,” Castles said. “The intercom system is out of service. We are in the process of fixing it because, although we need contingency plans, we need to get it running again. »
Castles said that in addition to the intercom repairs, the solar panels were being removed.
“They’re outdated,” he said. “We don’t get credits for them anymore. They have been taken offline and are being removed as we speak to try to avoid this ongoing issue.
According to Castles, the administration will look into what happened regarding the lack of notification regarding shelter-in-place.
“As far as the response that day goes, we’ll definitely look into that,” Castles said. “This is the first time we’ve heard of some of these concerns, so we’ll look into them. And then I will contact you personally.
Resetar replied that she was disappointed not to have heard about it because she and others had met with Baccarella to raise concerns about it which were not relayed further.
Board Chair Maria Valado asked Reseter if any staff members had received any communication that day, to which she said she had not personally received any other information from the company. administration by email or personally after the House Secretary informed that there was shelter in place. No one else in House 3 either before the firing, Resetar said.
Valado clarified that the Head of House 3 would be the script’s second-in-command, in response to a question from trustee Melissa Godesky-Rodriguez. In the audience, Resetar could be heard stating that he was absent that day.
No further discussion on the subject took place during the brief 18-minute meeting. However, if the problem persists, the board may hear more complaints at its next meeting in July.
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