KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Students at Sterchi Elementary are expected to be in their seats by the sound of the bell each morning.
But after multiple tardies, one first grader was told she can't participate in Field Day.
"There are so many games I wanted to be in," said the student at Sterchi Elementary.
Her parents don't agree with the school's decision.
"It kills me because I know it's my fault. I'm the one ultimately responsible not her," Angela Martinez said.
Like many people these days, Angela and Daniel Martinez have a lot on their plate. They care for their daughter and an autistic son, work and go to school.
The couple said if their daughter is late, it's only a few minutes, and she's not the one at fault.
Local 8 News was not able to reach the school's principal for comment. But the Martinez family said she did reply to an email.
"This policy has dramatically improved our tardy numbers. Our goal is to have to students here and on time so we can maximize their learning," Principal Cindy Bosse said in an email to Daniel Martinez.
Angela Martinez said she understands the goal, but thinks this punishment is too harsh.
"You're using the emotions of a 7-year-old to manipulate parents to become compliance," she said. "The school has been very supportive with special needs of my son. They genuinely care... I just think they're overlooking it."