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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Western High School continues to enforce its strict in-school cell phone policy, and school officials say standing by the policy for the past five years has helped turn the school around.
But, some student's parents at Western are confused by the harshness of the consequences of the policy.
Tonya Mobley explains how her son Matthew ended up with a two week suspension following not complying to the in-school cell phone policy. "He had his phone in class and texted and they asked him to turn over his phone and he refused but they wanted to keep it for 30 days," explained Mobley.
The freshman refused to turn over that cell phone, now he can't go back to Western High School until Wednesday. "I'm still just dumbfounded even sitting here speaking to you about this," said Mobley.
Western High School Principal David Mike says the strict cell phone policy helps to maintain a college like environment on the school campus. "We adhere to some really strict policies we have a college going environment, and we want to make sure our kids are focused on instruction in the classroom at all times," said Mike.
Mike says there's no gray area in the cell phone policy. It's a 30 day confiscation or a ten day suspension.
The policy was implemented at Western five years ago by a group of parents making up the site based decision making council or SBDM. "School was dangerous at times with students use of cell phones texting in the classroom to other students meeting out in the hallway which would end up in bullying or causing a fight," says Mike.
The behavior issues of the school are still evident. Reporting on campus for this story, a freshman led staff members and even an officer on a chase after allegedly scratching a teacher in the cafeteria. He eventually ended up in handcuffs.
Mike says his no-nonsense approach to discipline has helped to turn this school around. "Student achievement has gone up at an all time high here at Western," said Mike.
"To me if you want your school to succeed kids have to be there," explains Mobley on the two week suspension of her son. She served on an SBDM when her kids attended middle school and as PTA President.
"My main issue is the amount of time for such a non serious offense. I believe if he would've gotten in a fight he would have gotten less time."
WDRB learned the punishment for a fight in JCPS does start at a five-day suspension.
Mobley's son Matthew refused to comment on camera, but claims he didn't turn over the phone because his mother has serious problems with her health.
Mobley admits Matthew was wrong, but says the school's policy is, too.
The cell phone policy varies from campus to campus in JCPS. It is crafted by each school's SBDM.