ECHS placed on lockdown

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
Nearly 200 students were disciplined for possession of cell phones and four others placed in police custody for alcohol- and drug-related charges following a nearly four-hour lockdown Friday at Escambia County High School.
According to Assistant Superintendent Randall K. Little, he and Superintendent Billy Hines met with school personnel Monday to review the findings from the random lockdown.
Little added that some students were found in possession of electronic devices such as MP3 players and iPods, which were also confiscated.
Students assigned to OCS are isolated from the student body in a secluded room, and are not allowed to socialize with other students during their suspension per the county’s code of conduct. They are assigned work from their classes, which is taken up and graded. Students are, however, allowed to make up major tests and they are not counted absent.
In addition to the students placed in OCS, four were suspended after they were found in possession of drugs and alcohol.
Little said the students were suspended and placed in an alternative school setting for 20 days.
During lockdowns, students are asked if they have anything in their possession prohibited under the code of conduct.
Many parents have voiced concerns over the past couple of days for their children being placed in OCS. Many stated that the reason their children were in possession of cell phones during the time of the lockdown was because vehicles had been broken into the day before. Little said that he had no reports of theft from automobiles.
Other parents expressed concerns over their child’s cell phones being stolen from the office after seizure.
Little said the board of education performs lockdowns to aid in the safety of the student body.
Little added that cell phones are becoming a growing problem in schools with the technology they contain such as cameras and Internet capabilities.
Some parents feel cell phones are essential to their child’s safety while at school for emergency purposes.

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