Students pass time during power outage

By Cuyler Dunn, Reporter

Lawrence High students were stranded in second hour today after the school lost power, along with 5,000 other Evergy customers across Lawrence.

Other schools without power included Broken Arrow Elementary School, Billy Mills Middle School, Centennial School, Cordley Elementary School and Schwegler Elementary School.

At 9:35 a.m., partway through second hour, the school lost power, leaving students and teachers in darkness. Interim principal Cynthia Johnson made an announcement over the intercom telling students to stay in class until further notice.

“We were kind of freaked out because it shut off and we sat,” said freshman Dominic Haag, who was in business class in the Butler Building, a maintenance shed that was converted into classroom space during renovations. The building has no windows.

The outage frustrated some students, making them feel restricted. Third-hour classes weren’t held as students waited in second hour for the power to come back on. Because of the outage, a performance by Mayhem Poets was canceled. A sixth-hour performance will go on as planned.

Students were held in their classrooms until 10:46 a.m., more than an hour after the initial outage.

“It’s giving me anxiety because I’m just trapped, and I can’t do anything about it,” junior Jacorey Thompson said. “I don’t like feeling restricted. I want to feel free. I want to eat. I want to go to the bathroom. I just want to socialize. I feel like one of those experiments from like the 1930’s when they just used to experiment on people.”

Some classes continued instruction while others couldn’t continue working without power and students decided to play video games, make Tik Toks, tell spooky stories or sit back and relax to pass the time.

“I think it’s all good — we’re just vibing,” said junior Giovanni Ventello, who was in photography class. “The announcements were like, unnecessarily spooky, but everyone’s just chilling man.”

Some students choose to do homework and catch up on work during the outage.

“It’s kind of unexpected. I kind of took it like a study hall so I could do some homework and review for my test,” sophomore Nicole Lett said.

Some classes kept on working with the help of flashlights and natural light from outdoors. For students in orchestra, the longer class period gave them extra practice time.

“It didn’t really affect our class,” junior Laura Teska said. “We just turned on our flashlights and kept playing.”

After power returned, students got a little extra long passing period, and van transportation to the College and Career Center was coordinated since some students had missed the bus during the outage.

“I think the power outage was an opportunity for us to learn in a very diverse environment without light,” teacher Jeff Dickson said. “It’s allowing kids to explore other senses and find out if they can learn through audio means or touch-and-feel or just being completely immersed in darkness. So the jury is still out on whether that is an effective instructional technique.”