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Update: Syosset Students Tweet During Fire Alarm

High School students standing outside during Tuesday's Arctic Blast weren't happy.

File photo.
File photo.
Update: Tuesday, 3:40 p.m.

Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante said it was "absolutely not a fire drill" that kept students standing in the cold this afternoon as students had thought. 

The fire alarm went off Tuesday afternoon because of a defective head in the student cafeteria, which has since been repaired. 

"We had to evacuate the building and wait for the fire department to clear us. That is the proper protocol," Durante told Patch. 

Original Story

Syosset High School students definitely were not happy about having to stand outside in freezing temperatures Tuesday during a fire drill. Many took to Twitter to voice their frustration.

An Arctic chill moving across the country Tueday, putting Long Island temperatures around 11 degrees, with wind chills making it feel like 13 below.

Patch reached out to Syosset High School this afternoon but has not yet heard back. 
DDB January 07, 2014 at 03:32 PM
Was it a drill or did someone pull the alarm? I don't recall the fire dept being present for routine fire drills.
Leah Bush (Editor) January 07, 2014 at 03:33 PM
Hi DDB, the students said it was a drill.
DDB January 07, 2014 at 03:36 PM
Ooof!
Leah Bush (Editor) January 07, 2014 at 04:04 PM
Yes, I know. I spoke to Dr. Durante and we updated the story. Still cold out there! Brrr...
C DiFilippo January 07, 2014 at 04:40 PM
An automatic fire alarm went off which invoked the fire dept to respond. It was not a drill. The safety efforts are done to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Papa Tom January 07, 2014 at 05:09 PM
How about we check out the validity of stories BEFORE we print them, eh? This was not something that had to be published before Syosset Schools responded.
Bill Allen January 08, 2014 at 08:47 AM
The Syosset Patch is a disgrace to journalism and news outlets. The journalism and writing quality here is like not one writer ever took a basic journalism class. Patch never follows the basic journalism rule of verification before dissemination. What in your right mind, Leah, regardless of what "students" have told you, think that SHS would have a fire drill on the coldest day of the year? Use some common sense, please.
Henry Powderly (Editor) January 08, 2014 at 10:33 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. We have updated the story to reflect that the students who were sharing public updates online were mistaken about it being a fire drill. At the time the photos and updates were shared we gave the school an opportunity to respond before we ran the story, but felt it was an immediate matter of public interest that Syosset students were outside on the coldest day of the year as the result of a fire alarm. We definitely prize verification, as well as transparency when it comes to fixing errors and quickly updating stories as the facts change. Thank you for sharing your feedback.
Papa Tom January 08, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Bill: I don't know that we have to attack anyone personally or criticize the writing skills of young journalists who are trying to get their feet wet by working for Patch. My point was that our local news outlet does not have to participate in the same irresponsible, sensationalistic journalism that the major newspapers and TV news programs have resorted to in recent years. Just give us facts that pertain to and/or affect our lives here in Syosset and we will love you forever. DON'T try to stir up controversy by implying that the Town of Oyster Bay's streets are not being plowed when every single person I have spoken to has commented that the Town did a stellar job. And, Henry, please don't insult us by trying to convince us that you felt the Syosset "Fire Drill" story was such an "immediate matter of public interest" that you had to publish it based solely on the Tweets of 15-year-olds. You are only trying our patience even more.

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