Parents Union Praises Lifting of the Cell Phone Ban in NYC Public Schools

Cellphone storage vansThis morning, the NYC Parents Union greeted the lifting of the longtime ban of cell phones in New York City public schools with cheers.

“We applaud and thank Mayor de Blasio for fulfilling his campaign promise and putting the safety of our children first,” read a statement from the independent parents organization.

Mayor de Blasio, whose son attends Brooklyn Tech, embraced the perspective of many parents and urged Schools Chancellor Farina to lift the ban on cellphones.  “As parents, we will feel more comfortable knowing we can keep in contact with our children while they are commuting to school,” added the Parents Union statement.

In 2012, NY Post columnist, Michael Benjamin accused then-Mayor Bloomberg of making contradictory claims about the need for the ban and appearing to govern on the basis of personal whim.

Benjamin wrote, “The mayor says children as young as 11 are mature enough to benefit from sexuality education (and free condoms), but he won’t trust them with cellphones because they may send “sexts” or watch porn?”

News reports found that Stuyvesant HS students were able to use cellphones to cheat on Regents exams because the elite school didn’t enforce the ban. And the vast majority of schools that lack permanent metal detectors cellphones, iPads and other outlawed devices easily slip into schools.

At the time, the NYC Parents Union’s president Mona Davids jeered the policy as “racist.”

Metal detectors are a feature in many predominantly black and Hispanic schools, especially those in the Bronx. Students at those segregated schools have to pay to store their phones, while children at other schools don’t.

The armed robbery of a phone-storage truck outside Columbus HS in the Bronx alerted New Yorkers to the $4.2 million-a-year business that takes money from kids’ pockets to safeguard cells during school hours.

Observers believe that the phone industry will disappear as repeal of the ban take effect across the city.

The NYC Parents Union requested that Schools Chancellor Farina direct all city schools to notify parents via backpack of their cell phone policy and post their policy on their school websites.

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