School Crime and The Use of Mobile Phones


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This presentation highlights ways that mobile phones are being used to communicate during school crimes.

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  • PAOLOQuote and perspective from news media
  • Columbine MassacreVirginia Tech Shootings - VT AlertsLocal Issues -Foss High School -UW & Lakewood Shooting Manhunt -WSU & H1N1 Epidemic
  • PAOLOEvent details:Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, ColoradoTwo senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and one teacher. They also injured 21 other students directly, and three people were injured while attempting to escape. The pair then committed suicide.First time mobile phones played a major role in a school catastrophe.Kay Jones, AC360 producer - Weird as it sounds, the Columbine shootings were really the first school shooting where cell phones played a prominent role. In 1999, beepers and pagers were still a pretty active way of staying in touch with your teenager. Although cell phones were picking up in popularity, they were still not the standard that they are today. However, at Columbine, students were calling in to local news stations to talk about what they were seeing, as they were hiding out from the shooters. Many students and teachers were able to call into 911 from the school and gave accounts of where the shooters were, how many were injured and what they were seeing. I can’t remember the station, but one had to tell the student to get off the phone because there was a fear the shooters would hear her location and come after her.PLAY VIDEO
  • PAOLOKay Jones, AC360 producer - Almost eight years to the day after Columbine, Virginia Tech saw its campus under fire. This time, camera phones were becoming the big thing, and an alert student emailed his video into CNN’s iReport site that eerily included sounds of gunshots. We were able to verify the pictures and where it came from pretty quickly and get the video on air. It really gave us a sense of terror that many of the students who were near the building where the majority of shootings happened faced. Because of the location, we didn’t have a ton of photos and video coming in early on, so we relied on the video and pictures those on the scene sent to our iReport site. Once again, we saw how technology really changed the way we reported on this story.Event details:April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. In two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide. The massacre is the deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history, on or off a school campus.
  • JANNAUse of multiple systems simultaneously to ensure notification The Virginia Tech homepage ( e-mails to all accountsElectronic message boards in classroomsThe weather/emergency hotline (231-6668)Campus sirens and loudspeakersThe university switchboardVT Phone AlertsVT Desktop AlertsVT Phone Alerts: subscriber-only feature of VT Alerts that allows students/ staff to receive urgent notifications, even if away from your computer or university phoneCircumstances that Activate VT Alerts:When there is a required near term action on the part of the university community such as: Sheltering from a stormCancelling classes on short noticeA dangerous situation on campus that could impinge on personal safety either locally or generally such as a chemical spill, bomb threat, or dangerous personWhen the Virginia Tech Police Department or university administration determines there is an immediate threat to the university community by the presence of certain persons or when the timeliness of the notice may assist in locating an offender
  • JANNALakewood Shooting: Sunday, Nov 29 4 Lakewood Police officers shot and killed a coffee shop in Pierce CountyManhunt for killer, Maurice Clemmons, led police through UWGoogle Wave Manhunt Tacoma News Tribune: "...police searched several buildings and canvassed the campus at the University of Washington, after a transit bus driver reported dropping off a man who resembled Clemmons' description near the campus at about 7 a.m. Campus police issued a warning to students, faculty and staff to be on alert for the suspect.”
  • ALVINPreventive Crime Alerts Universities send alerts on crimes near campus Mobile phone application UW Alerts on mobile devices sends information during emergencies or crisis situationsSign up online and receive the alerts via text messagesTwitter updates
  • ALVINCreate effective text alert system that can respond in real timePromote the service on campus and information sessions for students/staffUse microblogging as another form of communication like Twitter updates
  • ANITAAmber Alerts are an emergency broadcast system used to alert citizens that a child is missing and in danger. Named after Amber Hagerman, all states utilize some form of the Amber Alert system. There is no national organization that determines one unified alert system, each state sets their own plan. Available since 2005 Starting today, AMBER Alerts, the service for bringing attention to missing children, will be available on cellphones via SMS. Cellphone users simply have to sign up on the Wireless AMBER Alerts website and enter the areas they would like to receive alerts for. Apparently, 90% of US cellphone subscribers are currently covered by the service, with most of the rest receiving coverage in the next two months. There's no charge for the service other than the usual carrier imposed SMS fees.
  • PAOLOAdministrativeVT Alert partially fails: backgrounder: of maintaining systems (Fixed costs, labor) Parents/GuardiansOverreaction Costs of maintaining students’ cell phones Higher expectations for security Students Cheating with phones:,2933,133208,00.htmlInequalities to phone accessIrresponsible decisions with too much information Law EnforcementFalse alarmsStrained resources
  • ALVINCreate effective text alert system that can respond in real timePromote the service on campus and information sessions for students/staffUse microblogging as another form of communication like Twitter updates
  • School Crime and The Use of Mobile Phones

    1. 1. Mobile Communication & Crime: Phones as a Safety Device in Schools<br />
    2. 2. &quot;In a perfect world, we would never have to cover a school shooting again. Of all the stories I’ve covered from both the newsroom to the field, these always are the hardest and worst to cover. But the reality is, something will happen again involving teenagers and young adults, and because of this, we’ll see how the next great technology will impact the way we report on these stories.&quot;<br />- Kay Jones, AC360 Producer<br />
    3. 3. Case Studies<br />
    4. 4. The Columbine Massacre<br />
    5. 5. Virginia Tech Shooting<br />
    6. 6. VT Alerts<br />
    7. 7. School Shootings Nationwide<br />
    8. 8. our backyards: local issues<br />
    9. 9. Local Shooting: Foss High School<br />01.04.07<br />
    10. 10. Local<br />Lockdowns<br />
    11. 11. Lakewood Police Shooting: UW Alert texts warn students<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13. Over 2,000 WSU students were diagnosed with H1N1<br />WSU does NOT have a mobile alert system<br />Instead, they have a hotline phone number to call in case of emergency<br />WSU Twitter: 206 followers<br />
    14. 14. Recommendation <br />
    15. 15. Establish Academic Emergency Mobile Alerts<br /><ul><li>Connect administrators, law enforcement, students and parents with safety alerts and event updates
    16. 16. Could be managed by state or school district
    17. 17. Multiple channels of communication, including SMS, Twitter and email </li></li></ul><li>Existing program: Amber Alert<br />
    18. 18. Parents & <br />Legal Guardians<br />Administration<br />Challenges<br />Students<br />Law Enforcement<br />
    19. 19. Questions?<br />Presentation by <br />Anita Beninger (@anitamedia)<br />Paolo Mottola (@paolojr) <br />Janna Quedado (@jquedado) <br />Alvin Singh (@bookido) <br />
    20. 20. Sources<br />Jones, K. (2009, April 20) Covering Columbine – 10 years ago today. AC360, CNN. Retrieved Jan. 25 2010 from<br />Columbine High School massacre. (2010, January 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:39, January 25, 2010, from<br />Virginia Tech massacre. (2010, January 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:39, January 25, 2010, from <br />