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Education A National Roundup

Parents File Suit Challenging Ban on Cellphones In N.Y.C.

By Catherine Gewertz — July 25, 2006 1 min read

Eight parents of New York City schoolchildren have filed a lawsuit challenging the district’s ban on bringing cellphones to school.

The lawsuit, filed July 13 in state court, contends that the regulations prohibiting cellphones and other communication devices in school represent “an abuse of discretion” and “an unauthorized exercise of power” by the school district and violate the state and U.S. constitutions.

New York City has one of the strictest bans on cellphones in schools among large districts. (“N.Y.C. Schools Take Hard Line on Cellphones” July 12, 2006.)

The plaintiffs, including an elected parent advisory council, said they don’t dispute the need for restricting the use of cellphones in schools. But they object to the district’s regulations as “overly broad” because they prevent students from having phones to use on the way to school and afterward.

The city’s department of education said it could not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but stands by its policy.

A version of this article appeared in the July 26, 2006 edition of Education Week