Cell Phone Storage Companies Profit While Students Hurt

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Is there a better target for robbery than a shady van filled with thousands of cellphones? That's just one complication that arises when considering the city's perplexing cell phone storage procedure for high school students. Cell phones are banned in city schools-probably with good reason-but students who attend schools with metal detectors, and want cellphones for the commute, must store these phones in trucks or nearby bodegas for a $1 fee. The bodegas and trucks store the phones for the day like a coat check service. That adds up to about $22,800 a day for all New York City high school students. The New York Post reports these companies make up to $4.2 million a year, while the accumulated "phone check" fees can be a financial stretch for some students. As Gothamist points out, schools with permanent metal detectors often have the most financially challenged students (88 of 1,200 schools have detectors). For many students, money now going toward cellphone storage may have been put toward basic sustenance. WNYC reports Mayor Bloomberg told students to "leave [their] cellphones at home," but we've all seen enough Law and Order to know kids should not be wandering city streets without some means of communication. -Alissa Fleck

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