Former School Principal Jamaal Bowman: I Thought Pulling Fire Alarm Would ‘Open the Door’

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images; BNN

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a former school principal who pulled a fire alarm in the U.S. Capitol complex moments before the House was scheduled to vote on a bill preventing a government shutdown, did so because he thought it would “open the door.”

As Breitbart News reported: 

U.S. Capitol Police and the House Administration Committee, which oversees House operations and Capitol security, are investigating.

A photo being circulated by Capitol Police appears to show Bowman pulling the fire alarm, as reported by Punchbowl News.

Falsely reporting a fire is a misdemeanor crime in the District of Columbia punishable by a fine or up to six months’ imprisonment.

Bowman later told reporters he pulled the fire alarm because he “thought the alarm would open the door.”

However, Bowman spent ten years as a school principal in a state that requires 12 fire alarm drills per school year. 

Bowman’s office similarly issued a statement claiming he did not know he would trigger the fire alarm by pulling it.

“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion,” his spokeswoman said in a statement. 

The emergency exit near the fire alarm. (Breitbart News)

Close up image of the fire alarm that was pulled. (Breitbart News)

Many social media users quickly pointed out Bowman’s experience as a school principal after news broke of him pulling the fire alarm.

“So as a ‘middle school principal’, did Jamaal Bowman advise students to pull the fire alarm to open doors?” one user asked.

“Jamaal Bowman was a principal for 10 years. For his office to claim he didn’t know what would happen is extraordinary,” another user wrote. “As a principal, you are trained to know exactly what a fire alarm does and, more importantly, exactly the chain of events that takes place when one is pulled.”

“Congressman Bowman regularly brags about his years as a teacher and principal. He’s from a state that requires TWELVE fire drills per school year,” one user noted. “The man knows exactly how fire alarms work.”

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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