City Council takes on issue of cell phones in Bronx schools

? The City Council and mayor are battling over the issue of safety versus silence in Bronx and city schools when it comes to cell phones.

The deputy mayor squared off with council members during a sometimes contentious hearing at City Hall Wednesday. Cell phones have been banned in New York City schools since 1988, but the council believes that policy is outdated and puts children at risk in the event of a disaster or emergency. Elected officials also want schools to stop confiscating phones during random searches.

The mayor?s office argues teachers cannot be effective with constant interruptions. The City Council plans to pass legislation allowing phones on campus. Members expect the mayor to veto it, meaning the issue could be settled in court.

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