ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - All throughout life, whether you’re in grade school or in a career, rules are something that you have to learn to follow. However, one St. Johns County mother is scratching her head about one rule in particular at her son’s school.
“He looked at me, I looked at him, I’m like where is your bag, he looked at me, he said, don’t you have it,” said parent Kristy Koll said.
For the first time, Koll's third grade son left his backpack at home Friday. Home was too far away from the bus stop to go back and get it. He had to be at Liberty Pines Academy in 20 minutes.
“I tried to calm him down and say you get on the bus and I’ll call school," she said.
His bag was filled with his Math, Science and English notes. Koll figured she'd drop it off at school, but when she called, she learned she couldn't drop off the bag after 8:30 a.m. per school policy.
“The only thing that I could take to him was a pair of glasses or his lunch," she said.
It's clearly written in the Liberty Pines Academy student planner handout that students receive.
Liberty Pines Academy doesn't accept forgotten homework, P.E. uniforms, band instruments, school supplies or projects saying it's the responsibility of the student to bring them.
"It’s absolutely ludicrous and absolutely ridiculous," she said. "I agree that they do need to learn that they’re responsible for that, but for someone who is his first time forgetting a book bag, that’s ridiculous and it prevents him from doing what he’s there to do, which is learn for the day."
Koll learned other parents frustration with the policy on social media, so the mom wrote an email to the principal and her son's teacher for clarification of the rule.
First year principal Traci Hemingway responded in a statement, apologizing for what happened and adding some of the policies have been in place for years and she would be looking at the school's current policies over the year to see if any changes will be needed for next year.
First Coast News reached out to Hemingway for further explanation, but was told the comments in the letter were accurate and that is the current policy.
"I believe seriously it needs modifying sooner rather than later,” Koll said.
Koll though doesn't see the point in keeping this zero-tolerance policy.
“I don’t believe you should penalize children from learning for the day and you’re penalizing the teachers because they can’t work with children that don’t have their class books with them," she said. "If you’ve made one mistake and can fix it, you should be allowed to fix it.”
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