ATLANTA -- Current policywithin Atlanta Public Schools statesonly high school students can bring their cell phones to class. It's been a helpful tool to parents, wanting to know their child is alright in an emergency.
Now, seeing the benefits, many parents of elementary and middle school students want the same opportunity.
Certainly, emergencies come up at every grade level. Just consider the carbon monoxide scare at Finch Elementary School last December, that caused every student to be evacuated and bussed to a nearby campus.
There was the shooting at Price Middle School in January, that sent a student to the hospital and put the school on lockdown for hours.
Brown Middle School had a crisis of its own last week, when a mysterious itch evacuated the school's third floor and sent29students to the hospital.
At a safety meeting on Thursday, parents of Grady High school students, reactingto an accidental shooting there,impressed upon the district how much a simple phone call can mean.
"It's very important to us that our kids be able to have and access their cell phones at Grady," said one parent has the room erupted with applause.
There are concerns younger students will find cell phones too distracting andthe district warns,early information is often misinformation.
"We see oftenkids hear something and relay that information and so that's a risk and that's why we want parents to rely on information that they receive from the school district," said APS spokeman Stephen Alford.
But administrators say - they get it - and could take up the issueas early as Monday, March 4, to change its policy so more students can make that call.