Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday lifted a longtime ban on cellphones in public schools, ending a widely unpopular practice put in place by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to address concerns about cheating and theft.
But the ban has never been enforced consistently. At schools without metal detectors, students bring phones and keep them stowed in their backpacks. But most schools with metal detectors enforce the ban, with students paying $1 a day to store their phones in a van.
The ban has long been unpopular with parents, including de Blasio, who has acknowledged that his own son, Dante, brings a phone to Brooklyn Technical High School. He promised to overturn it during his 2013 mayoral campaign.
The new policy goes into effect on March 2.