Dear Hooligans,

Hi there! You probably don’t know me and I probably don’t know you. I see you guys playfully push each other around sometimes. I hear you in the hall during class sometimes. I see your vandalism in the washrooms sometimes.

I don’t know y’all that well, but I like you guys. You have a sense of coolness, a kind of mysterious charisma. It’s entertaining seeing what kind of crap you do daily. It brings life to an otherwise drab, spiritless school. But this time, my dear hooligans, you’ve gone too far.

See, when you pull that fire alarm, over and over, you may bring temporary joy to some students, but take my word: you piss off many more. Including me.

I’m not that mad that response times are increasing as false alarms become more and more common.

I’m not that mad that the general attitude towards fire alarms has changed from urgency to contempt.

I ain’t even that mad that we’re probably a joke to the fire department now.

What I am absolutely livid about  is that for every fire alarm pulled, fire trucks are diverted from incidents that may actually require assistance, possibly endangering the lives of others.

I am absolutely livid that for every false alarm, a $410 per truck fine is slapped onto either you, or us. And if you’re not caught, we pay the price.

If you haven’t noticed, Marc Garneau isn’t located in the best neighborhood. We don’t have the best facilities, and we certainly don’t have the biggest budget. That $410 per truck you waste every time you pull that lever? That comes directly from our school budget if we don’t catch you. The money that’s taken out to pay these fines could have gone to a multitude of things. Things like, perhaps, a ventilation system that doesn’t leak water into classrooms below? Maybe a field that doesn’t have a gaping hole in the middle of the track? Or maybe even some 2-ply in the washrooms that doesn’t feel like a cheese grater on my butt? There’s plenty of places where this money could go to good use, but thanks to you, we’re blowing it away on, of all things, fire alarms.

You can bet that when you pull that alarm, administration will be hunting for you. They know which alarm is pulled. They have security cameras to track you. Measures are being put in place to ensure that culprits don’t walk away clean. When they catch you? They’ll make you pay the fine, for sure. And give you a suspension, maybe an expulsion.

But I bet you don’t really care about all that. After all, the whole point of being a hooligan is living that carefree life, right? Well, how about a criminal record then? See, the police department have the option of pressing criminal charges against you. Want to get a job? Nope, criminal record. Want to travel? Nope, criminal record. Want a decent bank loan? Nope, criminal record. All because of something as petty as a fire alarm.

It’s time to draw the line. Go back to your shenanigans, but stay away from the fire alarms.

Stay a hooligan, don’t become a jerk.

Sincerely, your fellow hooligan,


Illustrator: Lila Huang

Illustrator: Lila Huang