Parents of SCS students wait in line for hours for digital devices

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools parents waited in a long line at Southwind High School Monday afternoon to pick up digital devices for their children.

Some parents say they waited as long as three hours. Parents waited in their vehicles the whole time.

“We waited so long that the kids got out and walked across the street to the store to get them some snacks and came back,” parent Renida Talley said.

At one point, the line backed up onto Hacks Cross where drivers turned on their flashers.
Once parents made it to the end of the line, they were given Microsoft tablets. The devices are free and essential now that SCS is going solely to online learning because of the pandemic.

Monday’s pickup was for three elementary schools including Sea Isle and Balmoral Ridgeway. The window for parents to show up ranged from 11 am to 6 pm depending on the school.

“I took off work. I had to leave early so I could come,” parent Sharana Waterway said.

SCS schools have been split into groups with designated days and locations for pickup. Parents who can’t make it are given one make up day.

SCS says the process was designed to minimize complications. In a statement, the district wrote, “We ask our parents and community to continue to show grace as we implement this monumental device deployment.”

School starts next Monday. SCS is holding virtual orientations this week.

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