False alarm evacuates Hononegah


Photo of Rockton fire truck

On Wednesday at 10:42 a.m., Hononegah Community High School experienced what administrators tactfully called "an unexpected fire drill." About two minutes after the alarm went off, one student was able to text his parents from outside the building, "We have evacuated."  

The Rockton Fire Department was on the scene within seven minutes. Less than five minutes later, firefighters determined that it had been a false alarm and gave the all-clear within eleven minutes of the original alert. Responding to the false alarm had involved hundreds of thousands of dollars of fire equipment and personnel.

The evacuation temporarily interrupted PSAT/NMSQT testing for juniors, but an email to parents assured them that "testing resumed immediately upon re-entry." The standardized test is a requirement for the National Merit Scholarship Program and other scholarships, lets students practice for their college entrance exam, and aids in student placement.

Later in the day, a photo appeared on Snapchat of two students displaying disciplinary action forms. 

Superintendent Mike Dugan would not confirm who sent the false alarm, telling us, "We don't discuss student discipline. Such an infraction would follow consequences set forth in the code of conduct." 

The Student Handbook says the consequences of student pranks could include "restitution, loss of privilege, detention, in-school suspension, out of school suspension depending on the nature and severity of the incident."

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