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Neighbors, Businesses Frustrated By Rash Of False Fire Alarms At Bronx High School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There is an alarming trend at a Bronx high school. Officials said kids are deliberately pulling the alarms at the Herbert Lehman High School in Westchester Square.

As CBS2's Janet Wu reported, the kids have been causing big problems for local businesses.

"The kids just pull it, they don't care," Lehman High School, Senior, Kaylah Rodriguez said.

The false alarms are stressing first responders, interrupting class time, and costing local businesses.

"Customers, they are upset when all the kids come inside," Dunkin Donuts Manager, Manuel Jarama said.

Surveillance video showed dozens of kids loitering at the Westchester Square Dunkin Donuts. At a nearby gas station they turned destructive.

"There were a lot of kids in the store. They were fighting. This whole shelf collapsed," gas station manager, Anil Bachan said.

He said students also smashed wine bottles.

The manager said the alarms went off four times last week. When he sees the kids coming he rushes to lock his door.

Local residents have also had enough.

"They do damage to the cars, the come out to chase them away. They don't leave, they just hang around," Cathy Tonti said.

One teacher said the problem has diminished since the school posted penalties for false alarms.

"It can be a $10,000 fine and up to a year in prison if charged as an adult," music teacher John Rader said.

Unlike snow days, the lost time is not being made up, but there is no question that education is suffering.

"They interrupt our school and we want to learn in school," junior, Ammar Abdullah said.

The Department of Education said Lehman High School is working closely with the fire and police departments to prevent future alarm incidents.

The FDNY said U.S. Fire Marshals are now looking into the rash of false alarms.

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