School cell phone policy torments Polk County family - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

School cell phone policy torments Polk County family

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB)  --  Ginger Allen spent the last 24 hours at a Chattanooga hospital after her husband was rushed to the ER.

"He was foaming from his mouth and his nose. He was incoherent," says Allen.

However, there was another problem.

"I had no way of contacting my children, my family, no one," Allen says.

That's because the cell phone she would've used was locked away in a school office in Polk County, after it was taken from her daughter during class two weeks ago.

"She did not even realize she had it. Someone had called looking for us. As soon as she realized it, she opened and shut it," Allen explains.

Allen says she gave the cell phone to her daughter to use while at a basketball game the night before.

"We let her take the family cell phone, we can't afford a plan. We have one phone to share among us," says Allen.

Allen visited the school Monday to beg for the phone back. School officials didn't budge.

"I think sometimes there are special circumstances," Allen says.

"Policies are made to enforce, so that's what we're going to do," says Polk County Director of Schools Dr. James Jones.

Jones says school policy states cell phones must be turned off and concealed.

"We have to enforce the policy, which says that any electronic device is taken up for either one of those two reasons will be kept for a six week period," says Jones.  

Even in emergencies Jones says rules are rules and they're there for a reason.

"How are you going to decide what's the threshold of importance? I mean, is this case more important than this case, so they get their phone back," Jones explains.

"I just wish that they had been willing to help me out here," Allen says.

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