In a ruling that could have implications for school systems from coast to coast, a New York state appeals court has upheld a ban on cell phones in the nation's largest school system.

The New York City Department of Education passed rules in September 2005 barring students from having their phones in public schools.

School officials, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have called the phones a distraction and say they could be used for nefarious purposes, including cheating.

Parents insist they need to stay in touch with their children in case of emergencies, like what happened Sept. 11, 2001. They call the


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