De Blasio Lifts Ban on Cellphones in NYC Public Schools


Reposted from Education News:

Soon, kids in New York City schools will be permitted to bring cellphones and other mobile devices to class in a significant reversal from current restrictions on cellphones and other electronic devices like tablets from the school grounds. Until now, students had to leave them at home or at businesses outside the building, for which they were often charged. The new rules are that teachers and parents will work with each school’s principal to come up with a plan tailored to the needs of the students, parents, and classroom instructors.

Kerry Burke and Ben Chapman, writing for the Daily News, report that Mayor Bill de Blasio said the change will allow parents to contact their children, especially in the case of emergencies. De Blasio added that the plan would also end the inequity of the current ban, which is most strictly enforced at schools with metal detectors in low-income neighborhoods.

The plan includes several specifics: school leaders may set policies for electronics with help from teachers and parents; schools that do not set up plans will allow students to bring phones to school, but must keep them stored during the school day; cellphones may be used for instructional purposes. Students will be allowed to use mobile phones during lunch or in designated areas. Cyberbullying and responsible digital citizenship education and training will be increased.

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