Rising Starr band not hearing any progress

Abri Hausman, Features co-Editor

When Rising Starr was repainted over the summer, the soundboards were taken down from the band room and have not yet been replaced. The soundboards in the band room are used to reduce the sound in the room to protect the students ears. Without the soundboards the students’ developing ears can suffer permanent damage.

Repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.”

— U.S. National Library of Medicine

“A normal conversation in [the band room] can reach 80 decibels,” Rising Starr band director Jennifer Duerkoop said. “And when the children are playing, the concrete reverberates the noise and makes it even louder.”

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.

Duerkoop is trying her best to protect the students ears and is planning to buy each of them earplugs with her own money. Without any protection for their ears the students are being exposed to over 100 decibels every day when they play their instruments.

Normally the band room is equipped with the soundboards to protect against the deafening noise, but they were taken down and kept in the middle of the room while Meja Construction started repainting the room. They were moved down the hall so the students wouldn’t have to play their instruments with the soundboards in the middle of the room.

The chorus room then decided to use those soundboards. Duerkoop allowed the switch because the Fayette County Board of Education had promised the band new soundboards. Almost a semester later, the band has none of the soundboards they were promised.

The students will continue to be at risk of permanent hearing damage until FCBOE follows through with their plan to replace the soundboards.