National School Safety and Security Services has received a number of inquiries after the school shootings of recent years asking if schools should allow and/or encourage students to carry cell phones and pagers in school as a tool for their safety during a potential crisis. Similar inquiries have been received after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on America
We have opposed policies allowing or encouraging students to have cell phones and pagers in school. On a day-to-day basis, they are disruptive to the educational environment. This also has been the general position of many school districts over the years. Changing policies under the guise of cell phones being a crisis tool for student safety is, in our opinion, a knee-jerk reaction and is not "the answer" to school crisis preparedness that some may believe it to be.
Some schools banned pagers and cell phones starting a decade ago because of their connection to drug and gang activity, as well as due to the disruption to classes. The focus on their disruption of the educational process has come into conflict with cell phones becoming a convenience items over recent years. However, parents have increasingly lobbied boards to change policies primarily based on the argument that phones will make students and schools safer in light of national tragedies