The New York Post has uncovered a startling consequence of New York City’s ban on cellphones in schools: It’s sucking $4.2 million a year from kids’ pockets into the coffers of enterprising local businesses, the Huffington Post reports. Mobile storage trucks and bodegas located near schools where the rule is enforced are charging $1 per day to store devices for students who can’t take their phones to class, according to the report. And the fees are adding up, especially for low-income students.

“I cut back on food for the sake of my phone,” said Emily Luna, a 17-year old student at a high school in Brooklyn, in an interview with the Post. “I try to cut down on whatever I buy so I have enough to store my phone.”

The city’s controversial ban on gadgets in schools has incited strong opposition from parents and students since schools started cracking down on cellphones six years ago. Parents have argued that not allowing their children to have cellphones is a safety issue. Students have said that phones can be used as an educational tool and assist with cumbersome commutes. A recent robbery at one gadget storage truck has renewed such criticism…

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staff and wire services reports