July 23, 2024

The Nerve Archive

Where Government Gets Exposed

DSS Mandates Pointless Alarm, Pranks Ensue

Money spent. Alarm installed. Happy now?

Last summer we heard from an Upstate preschool teacher who complained about a Department of Social Services officer who seemed to thriving on finding petty infractions. In that case, the DSS minder reprimanded the preschool because it had failed to keep records proving that one of its teachers had graduated from high school. The teacher in question had graduated from college, and the record for that was on file, but her high school diploma was not – resulting in an infraction.

The sheer mindlessness of that judgement was delightful – how would the teacher have graduated from college but not high school? – and so we were pleased to receive another email from the same teacher.

Well, our favorite DSS nanny came around again back in January, and guess what. The gym where the kids play in the afternoon didn’t have a fire alarm. A grave danger, right? Of course, the kids are never in there by themselves, and if there was ever a danger, the teachers would direct them out. But my question was: How in the hell is a gym going to catch fire? There isn’t even a kitchen attached to it, so the most that could happen, I guess, is a blown fuse or something like that where some smoke might – MIGHT – set off an alarm. But it’s not like a building made of cinderblocks and containing nothing but metal bleachers is going to be engulfed by flames.

Anyway, our friend from DSS was adamant. We had to install fire alarms. So the school had to drop more than $2,300 on an alarm system. It’s a small school with a small budget, so that took a toll.

But here’s the best part. So far, the only thing our new fire alarm has done is serve as a pranking tool for teenagers.  Twice, someone has pulled the alarm just for fun. Twice, the fire department came out for no reason.

But at least our kids are safe, right? Thanks DSS!

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