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Parent Takes A Stand After School Tries To Confiscate Teen Daughter’s Phone For Two Weeks

high school student looking at phone during class
skynesher/Getty Images

Nowadays, we’re all guilty of spending too much time looking at our phones.

While cellular phones have gone from being a luxury to something of a necessity, most of the time we use them for purposes that are anything but necessary.

Excessive phone use has proven to be an even bigger problem at schools, with students frequently forgetting to turn their phones off, resulting in them going off during class, or even going so far as to play games or use social media in plain sight of their teachers.

Which they should know full well will not be tolerated, and thus often find themselves facing considerable consequences.

Indeed, excessive cell phone usage at the school of Redditor justwantedwings’s daughter that they felt they had no choice but to make the consequences even more strict.

However, while the original poster (OP), was all for punishing students, including her daughter, for using their phones during school, she was not on board one bit with their policy for rule breakers.

Resulting in her taking action agains the school administration.

Worried that she may have gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for insisting I get the phone back despite policy?”

The OP explained that while she was growing increasingly tired of her daughter using her phone at school, she couldn’t tolerate the school’s policy for rule breakers.

“My kids attend a year round school and started back up for the new term 2 weeks ago.”

“My eldest (16 F[emale]) ended up getting her phone confiscated for using it during class to watch TikTok.”

“We had discussed this before she even got the phone, then had some issues last year.”

“As a last resort, I told her if that happened again, the phone would become mine and she’d get an old flip phone that was my husband’s with no internet until she could prove trust.”

“The school policies had changed this term from a phone would be confiscated until a parent could come get it to a phone would be kept for 2 weeks as a first offense, 3 for second, so on and so forth.”

“I wasn’t okay with this as I don’t trust the school to not lose it.’

“I know they’ve lost/broken other students’ phones.”

“Plus, I don’t want them having access to my daughter’s private info.”

“I went to the school and requested it back, saying I wouldn’t give it to my daughter but I paid for it.”

“Secretary gave me the spiel and I didn’t blame her but asked to speak with the vice principal.”

“He comes out and repeats them.”

” I said okay but I’m the parent, I paid for it and I never signed anything giving you permission to hold it.”

“They were refusing so I said I’d sit in the office until it was given back.”

“I did so and waited for close to 2 hours.”

“Finally the principal came out and said I needed to leave.”

“I said if I left, I’d be back with a police escort.”

“At that point, the phone was returned to me.”

“My husband says I ‘Karen’d’ my way out of it.”

“To me, it’s not their property to take.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for demanding that her daughter’s phone be returned to her.

Everyone agreed that the phone was the legal property of the OP, and the school didn’t have any right to keep it without her permission, with many even pointing out how they could have been breaking the law by doing so.


“This isn’t legally enforceable policy.”

‘If the school wants to be that anal, they can pay for the phone plans of their students.”

“Confiscating it until the end of the day is about as far as they can feasibly go.”

“This is stupid, and a nightmare waiting to happen, for the administration.”- Thighs_

“Teacher here.”


“What kind of whack job school is this?”

“It is well understood in all the schools I have worked for that parents and teachers are a team working toward the same goal.”

“The best interests of the child.”

“Therefore not only is the school’s relationship with parents incredibly important, but parents should be looped in and consulted regarding both educational and disciplinary decisions whenever possible.”

“You came in acknowledging that you agree that the phone should be confiscated and ready to back that up at home by swapping your child’s phone for a flip phone, so there should have been zero issue handing the phone back to you.”

“I can’t believe they’d choose this hill to die on!”

“Just give the damn phone back, my god!”- cebogs


“If you haven’t signed anything saying they can keep it, they can’t keep it if you request it.”

“You do pay for it.”

“I’d def contact someone higher up about this new policy.”- lolie973

“I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to keep someone else’s property, especially for weeks.”- depressho


“Since when can schools just take private property with confidential information on it for weeks at a time?”

“ESPECIALLY knowing how often things get ‘lost’ when they are confiscated?”

“How often do you see articles of teachers/principals confiscating electronics and then selling them on eBay?”

“I’ve definitely seen those stories, no thanks.”

“They were definitely hoping you’d just get bored and leave.”

“They have no grounds for keeping things like this, and knew it when you threatened to get the police involved.”- ruski101


“Them trying to hold onto the phone is theft.”

“You were actually nice about it.”

‘Me I would have called the cops within 5 minutes of the phone not being produced.”

“Also if you really want to embarrass them post the policy on social media and see how fast they back track.”

“Somebody did that at my old school and they reversed the policy within a week.”- Finalbladestyle


“The school’s policy is stupid.”

“Your daughter was in the wrong, but many high school students need their cell phones for communication re: younger siblings, jobs, and medical appointments.”

“Some kids stay home alone in houses with no landlines or drive, making having a phone a safety issue.”

“While the school is within their rights to discipline your kid during school hours, they need to get their head out of their a** and realize that there are bigger issues at play.”

“Even stronger nta in light of the fact that the school lost or broke phones.”

“I hope they’re paying the parents 800 bucks every time that happened.”- SoonerStates


“I’d argue with your husband that the school ‘Karen’d’ their way into that situation.”

“Also, tell him to stop using ‘Karen’ to describe women who are legitimately disgruntled.”

“The internet has PLENTY of examples of actual Karens.”- aspermyprevious


“Just reading through the situation and how they handled it annoyed the sh*t out of me.”- Choice-Fly-2830

“I work in a school and we would never be able to enforce that policy.”

“It’s over the top if you ask me.”

“There is no reason they couldn’t return the phone.”- nusher88


“I fail to see in what way a school would EVER have the right to keep students’ property after school hours.”

“Especially since students don’t just hibernate 18 hours a day and only wake up to go to school.”

“They have other stuff going on too.”

“Like a social life, maybe a part time job, medical things, family, etc.”

“Even the need to contact classmates for homework and school assignments.”

“It’s absolutely mind blowing to me that the school seems to think that they’re allowed to prohibit your child from using her phone OUTSIDE of school.”

“What’s next?”

“Grounding students?”

“And instead of just admitting that it’s a silly rule and giving you the phone, they argued with you, the grown adult who PAID for the phone, for hours.”

“What ground did they even think they had to stand on?”- salmiak97

“NTA the school really has no right to not give that phone back to you.”

“I understand taking it from a student during class, but it should be given back to the student after the class ends not held for however long they decide.”

“it’s not their property.”- dinkleberf

“I don’t think that’s legal.”

“The schools policy does not trump law.”

“It’s your phone.”

“That’s why they gave it to you when you mentioned bringing the police into it.”- pkma2

Schools by all means must set an example to make it clear to students that unruly behavior will not be tolerated.

However, holding on to property that doesn’t belong to them isn’t the kind of example they should be setting either.

Especially considering that the OP was on their side, in wanting to teach her daughter a lesson on when it is not appropriate to use her phone.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.