Monday, December 17, 2012
Cellphones Are Changing School Emergency Plans
Discovery News - In the past, schools and cellphones didn't mix. Teachers saw them as a distraction, and many schools banned their use in the classroom. But in the wake of school shootings over the past 13 years, school districts are beginning to change their policies.
Since the 1999 killings at Columbine High School in Colorado, school districts and law enforcement authorities have worked together on strategies to respond to violence in schools. Plans include how to protect students inside buildings, evacuate them and notify parents. Students and teachers practice lockdown drills, steps to secure the school so that no one can enter or exit.
And technology is a big part of more recent plans, now that cellphone use among kids has grown. While most high school students wouldn't leave the house without their phones, children just starting school have cellphones, too. More than 1 in 10 kids between the ages of 6 to 10 already have their own cell, according to data collected during the first six months of 2012 by YouthBeat, a research firm that focuses on the use of technology by kids from preschool up to age 18.