Dad Demands School Returns His Daughter’s Phone But Principal Refuses

principal office

From morning until afternoon, Monday through Friday, kids across America report to school. Their days are designated for learning and any outside distractions are meant to be eliminated. And that includes -- most of all -- phones. But one parent in Philadelphia is upset because despite knowing the school's policy, his daughter had her iPhone 6 confiscated. And the principal is sticking by the rules and has refused to return the phone until the end of the academic period, which is two weeks away.


So what's the problem here? If the student knew, full well, that she was not allowed to use her phone in school, actively chose to break that rule, and knew the consequences that would follow, how is any of this a surprise?

It's Dad who seems to have the biggest trouble. Though the video has since been removed from YouTube, he approached the school's principal and demanded that the phone be returned. She stood her ground and said she'll continue to keep the smart phone, but gave them an interim flip phone that the student can use until she receives her phone back.

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The principal has her discipline tactics and clear school code of conduct rules that the students must adhere to while on school grounds during school hours, but the choice to confiscate and hold the phone for this extended period of time has ruffled feathers.

The student's father complained that while the phone is in the school principal's custody, he continues to pay its bills. As the owner of the phone and contract, he pays all fees and usage on the line even while it sits in the school administrator's office. And that's not exactly preferable.

But the real issue here isn't the payments or the taking of the property. Since children aren't supposed to use phones in school anyways, and Dad pays for those hours each month, that's a non-issue. The real issue is about jurisdiction of punishment. Yes, the teachers, staff, and administrators can enforce rules and discipline children while they are at school, but their enforcement ends there. During off-hours, it's up to the parent to decide what the most fitting punishment is for the child. When that final bell rings, it's becomes the parent's responsibility to find a way to implement the rules.

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Instead of taking the phone for the next two weeks, keeping it uninterruptedly until the end of the quarter, the student should turn it in at the beginning of the day, and get it back at the end. At that point, it's up to the parents to start their own rules.

There is a split of disciplining duties and both parents and school officials should carry their share. But one starts where the other ends, and the balance of responsibilities is exactly what kids need.

Do you think the school or parent was in the wrong?



Image via Mr Doomits/shutterstock

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