A Multimillion-Dollar Cottage Industry Has Sprung Up Around New York City's School Cell Phone Ban

baby on a mobile phone

Photo: angeloangelo via Flickr

Local businesses earn $4.2 million a year by providing storage for New York City public school students’ cell phones during the school day, a team of New York Post reporters recently discovered.That means the cottage industry rakes in a whopping $22,800 a day because of the mobile phone ban inside city public schools, according to the Post.

But parents and students continue to pay, often up to a dollar a day, to make sure their children have a phone on the commute home for safety reasons.

The storage businesses, often housed in trucks or local stores, are located around the 90 or so high schools and middle schools that have metal detectors.

Controversy over the mobile phone ban flared again last week when robbers held up The Safe Mobile Storage Corp. truck, outside Columbus High School in the Bronx, and stole both cash and kids’ phones.

Now parents are calling for free lock boxes inside the schools to store children’s phones and are blasting Mayor Michael Bloomberg for being “unwilling to compromise.”

In 2006, 88 of the city’s 1,200 buildings received metal detectors to combat students bringing weapons to school. But they since have become weapons in the battle against cell phones.

The schools without detectors don’t seem to enforce the mobile phone ban unless the phone is out in the open, the Post reported.

Some students even told the Post that they are sacrificing lunch money in order to store their phones outside of their schools.

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