East Chicago School District Laptops Taken Away From Students After Spike In Crime

East Chicago, Ind. school district administrators reclaimed MacBook laptops they had given to students after they say many were lost or stolen.

More than 2,000 laptop computers were distributed to middle and high school students 10 months ago, and administrators say dozens have been reported lost or stolen, according to the Associated Press. The computers were part of a $4.2 million district-wide technology upgrade, and parents were required to provide identification and residency information for their children to use the laptops.

The decision followed a recent incident where an 18-year-old was charged with threatening to shoot two East Chicago Central High School students if they didn't surrender their laptops, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

The recall "aims to eliminate that potential safety risk by keeping all laptop computers at school for daily use in the classrooms," district spokeswoman Kim DeCero told the Times.

Students were called into the auditorium by class and asked to surrender their laptops, East Chicago Central senior Orlando Navarro, 18, told the Times' East Chicago Local. Students who did not have their computers at school that day were escorted home by police to claim them.

"We have projects to do. We need our laptops," Navarro told the Times. He said students were given no warning that their laptops would be taken away before Wednesday's meeting.