Officials do away with unpopular ban, leave cell phone use to educators’ discretion

cell-phoneA Bloomberg-era ban on students possessing cell phones in New York City public schools is being lifted, the Department of Education said on Jan. 7.

Under the policy shift, formally announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, all 1.1 million of the city’s public school students will be allowed to bring in cellphones and other electronic devices beginning March 2.

“I do think we need to become part of the modern world,” Fariña said at the announcement at a Bay Ridge school.

The city was expected to rescind the unpopular prohibition after the then-candidate made a mayoral campaign promise to do so in 2013. Last September, he admitted that his son, Dante, routinely flouts the ban and carries a cell phone to Brooklyn Technical High School, where he is a senior.

(Next page: Educators react to the news)