Power outage disrupts morning classes


Photo by Avery Muir

By Lily Friedman

Whitman’s power was out from approximately 8-9 a.m. after a car crashed into a power pole at River Road and Whittier Boulevard. Lights, computer systems and bathrooms all didn’t function, but a generator supplied power for limited light in hallways, the PA system and the fire alarm.

Administration sent paraeducator Jerel Chavis to confirm no students were involved in the accident; because Pepco resolved the issue independently, the specific electrical problem is unknown.

The outage forced teachers to choose whether to continue lessons without access to Promethean boards or completely postpone lessons.

“I’m an old-school style teacher, so I used the blackboard, but many teachers were startled because their plans were in the Promethean board,” Spanish teacher Fabiola Katz said. “I was lucky that I could teach without the board.”

Teachers encountered difficulty conducting classes without lights and internet, but many still made use of the class time. Students just hoped to end school before lunch, citing MCPS’ policy that students must be sent home if cafeteria workers can’t provide food for students who buy lunches.

Even without ovens, cafeteria workers can still serve lunch with an adjusted menu, cafeteria manager Karen Phillips said.

“We’ll be able to have lunch, but it’ll be cold sandwiches instead of hot food,” Phillips said. “With about an hour to prepare, we’ll have some options, but not everything we’d normally serve.”

Despite struggles to continue the day normally, student opinions on the electrical failure were split.

“I haven’t really gotten anything done and it’s stressful because I have some tests today,” junior Maddy Russell said. “Other than that, it’s been nice having a relaxing day.”