New York City is preparing to end its ban on cellphones in schools, dooming an industry that sprang up near dozens of schools where teens could park their phones in a van for a dollar a day.
Mayor Bill de Blasio — apparently the first mayor to have a child in New York City public schools while in office — promised to end the ban during his campaign and acknowledged last month that his own son brings a phone to Brooklyn Technical High School.
He gave no date for ending the ban but said that for parents it’s “very, very important to know how to reach their kids.”
The out-of-sight, out-of-mind rule is already the de facto policy at most New York City high schools, including Brooklyn Tech, where Dante de Blasio is a senior.
Even with the phone ban still on the books, students at those schools are told with a wink, “If we don’t see it we don’t know about it.”
But at the 88 city school buildings where metal detectors have been installed to keep weapons out, the ban is strictly enforced because the scanners catch phones too.
Students at schools with metal detectors must either leave their phones at home or shell out for storage.
For those students, many of whom have spent hundreds of dollars to store phones and other gadgets over their high school careers, the ban can’t end soon enough.
“This costs a dollar every day and it’s a pain to get in that line just so I can get my phone back so I can go home,” 16-year-old Adam Scully said after retrieving his phone from the bright blue Pure Loyalty Electronic Device Storage van parked outside the Washington Irving High School complex near Manhattan’s Union Square.