HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A new tool is designed to help control noise at a local school, but some parents say it's just too loud.
Elementary schools are, by nature, loud and lively places. Bear Path School in Hamden is no exception, but this school's taken a unique approach to dealing with noise in the cafeteria.
Several parents contacted News 8, complaining about the new method. It's called a "talk light" and it looks just like a stop light. Green is good, yellow means it's getting too noisy and when it hits red, a siren goes off.
Principal Sue Smey tells News 8 they've been using it since last March.
"We don't see them being startled by the noise," Smey said. "I don't see that happening."
The concerned parents did not want to go on camera, but they say their kids are complaining. The siren doesn't stop until the noise lessens.
Some feel it's too jarring. The principal says she has heard a few complaints.
"Probably only a few. Most of the time we have our PTA meetings right here in the cafeteria and we've plugged the light in so that parents can see how it operates," Smey explained.
She says kids are supposed to be warned before it goes off.
"Sometimes it's verbal...but most of the time, students are supposed to use the hand signal to indicate to the people around them that it's gone to yellow," she said.
The talk light is part of a reward system for good behavior. Each lunch wave gets three points at the start of lunch. Every time they hit the red light and hear that noise, they lose a point. News 8 has learned that losing three points in one lunch period would be unusual.
The reward is a silver spork and it goes to the group who keeps the light on green the most. When a group hits 50 points, they get an extra recess.
While some aren't fond of the tool, others that spoke to News 8 said they weren't all that bothered.
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