Schools rethink cell phone policies in wake of shootings
April 23, 1999
(CNN) -- For a few students trapped inside Columbine High School during the shooting, cell phones gave them a critical link to parents, police, and television stations.
Use of cell phones has skyrocketed in recent years. Teen-agers and young adults make up the fastest growing group of users, with many parents giving phones to children for emergency use.
But like many schools around the country, Sachem North High School in Long Island bans cell phone use on campus, saying the devices are too disruptive.
Considering the events in Colorado this week, it is a ban that could soon change. Paul Houston of the American Association of School Administrators says many administrators will probably rethink their cell phone policies.
But Sachem Principal Dennis James says cell phones are no substitute for good security. Even so, in the wake of the shooting he thinks the ban should be reconsidered.
"There's no question we're going to reevaluate this whole scenario. How it happened. And cell phones are a big part of it."
Cell phone companies tell CNN that sales did not go up in the aftermath of the Colorado massacre. But student Laine Harling says her grandmother is looking into calling plans.
"After the incident in Colorado she called me and said, I'm getting you a cell phone right away, you never know what might happen," Harling says.
And a quick call, as some parents in Littleton discovered, can sometimes bring the greatest peace of mind.
Correspondent Deborah Feyerick contributed to this report
Cell phones bring new angle to Colorado shootings
American Association of School Administrators
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