One Phone At A Time
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
New York City Council members are calling for an end to the ban on cell phones in schools. There's been no response yet from Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has the power to change the policy, but both he and Mayor Bloomberg have defended it in the past. A group of Radio Rookies reported on the issue earlier this year. Check out their video here:
Reported by Jacintha Grotto, Carnell Steward, Recardo Davis and John-Ross Stewart, students at Global Kids High School, the High School for Global Citizenship.
Jhonn de la Puente and his business partner Stacey Bonello sit in a white van outside of our school, every day, from 7:30 in the morning till 5 at night, watching cell phones. Their business is Safe 'N' Secure Cellutions. We cant bring our phones in school, so Jhonn and Stacey keep our phones for the day. They charge students a dollar to hold each phone for the entire day. Jhonn says their mission statement is, "To inspire you while providing exceptional customer service and securing your electronic devices, safely and secure, one phone at a time, one student at a time."
We asked some students around the school, "How do you guys feel about not being able to bring your cell phones into school?" Not surprisingly, they don't like it.
One of our classmates, Chaunte, is displeased we have to go through metal detectors because its easy to detect something like a phone. Over on Franklin avenue, nearby the school, some kids leave their phones at stores or bodegas. All sorts of businesses around the neighborhood are running little side businesses, holding cell phones. But, Franklin avenue can be scary. Chaunte says that "The stores on Franklin, there has been previous times where peoples phones have gotten stolen?"
You can't even go to the store to get a sandwich without worrying about some guys hanging around outside. This is one of the reasons why the cell phone van Safe 'N' Secure is getting a lot of students coming to them. Jhonn explains that, "because they [students] heard some of the bodegas got robbed before and its not a safe environment. We provide a safe environment. As you can see weve got cameras on the outside, two cameras on the inside. Were locked up tight." Jhonn and Stacey saw business opportunity due to the lack of safety in the neighborhood.
But some people say it's not fair that we have to pay to leave our phones somewhere just because we're not allowed to bring them into school. We spoke with Leonie Haimson, director of Class Size Matters and a public school parent, who says that she thinks paying a dollar a day is expensive and unfair: "We have a public school system thats supposed to be free and there should be no extra fees. And to make certain kids pay those fees while others can bring their cell phones into school every day, is unfair."
Watch the rest of this audioslide to see how Jhonn and Staceys Safe 'N' Secure Cellutions sets themselves apart from other cell phone van businesses.