The Department of Education is expected to announce on Wednesday that it’s lifting a ban on cellphones in New York City schools. The New York Times reports:
The ban, which was put in place by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has been unpopular among parents, who worry about not being able to contact their children during school hours and in the time just before and after.
The ban has also been inconsistently enforced, with some schools allowing students to carry phones as long as staff members do not hear or see them, and other schools — particularly those with metal detectors at the doors — maintaining a strict ban.
Teenagers will always find a way to bring their cellphones, however — a small business has even cropped up in which students pay a dollar a day to leave their phones in bodegas while they attend classes.
While some parents and many students will be happy about the new policy, some educators have concerns. The Times spoke with one principal of a school with metal detectors who wished to remain anonymous:
“This increases the potential for incidents,” he said, adding that iPhones make appealing targets for theft, which would be recorded as a major incident on a student’s record.
“Kids are going to stage fights so they can put up posts on social media,” he said.
Schools will have a range of options to decide from regarding student cellphone use, but if they do not specifically choose a policy, the default rule will be that phones are allowed as long as they remain hidden.
(Photo: Intel Free Press)