Automatic phone calls 'fail' everyone

A Colorado high school’s automatic phone system called thousands of parents to say their student was failing one or more class. It turned out to be a fail by Hinkly High’s phone system:

The phone messages should have gone only to students who were actually failing — not the entire student body.

Via Home School Network.

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  1. Epic fail

  2. I have made it clear to my kids’ high school that I will not listen to non-emergency automated phone calls (i.e, stuff like “School is cancelled because San Diego is on fire”) If they want to talk to me they can use the US Mail, email, send papers home with my kids, or have an actual person call me.

    Automated phone calls at dinner time make me want to campaign against school board members come election time.

  3. So how do they know who actually listened to the automated phone call? This reminds me of high school in the seventies, when a couple of people I knew would bribe the mailman with a couple of joints in return for an intercepted “cinch notice.”

    Of course now instead of taking drugs, the kids will simply jump in front of a commuter train. I guess it obviates any concern about mail from the school.

  4. I used an automated phone call system last year called teleparent. There was a list of a couple of hundred different messages I could program in, and I had the option of requesting the creation of a new message for the system. (I know teachers who had a message added)

    The system has messages concerning grades, behavior, upcoming events and much more. With this system I was able to make phonecalls home to much more easily, quickly and often. I regularly have 175+ students, in previous years many of my parents would get only a single phone call home, because I spent most of my time playing phone tag with the parents of my disruptive students. Last year, every student got a phone call at least once a month.

    The system also generated a report giving the outcome of the previous day’s calls including calls that were hung up, unanswered, successful and possible disconnected numbers. I sometimes got some interesting reactions at parent conferences with these logs…..

  5. Maybe advances in technology aren’t for everyone.

    Hall Monitor

  6. I had friends in school who such a phone home would have caused hysterics. One of them nearly had hysterics when we were trapped in the elevator not over being trapped in a closed space but over the fear that the teacher whose class we were meant to be in might think she was deliberately skipping class.

  7. Robocalls aren’t a bad thing in and of themselves, it’s all in *how* they’re used. Get one or two a week advertising school activities, and people start blowing them off.

  8. A further thought is that the parent receiving the call might have time to cool off before calling back to yell at the teacher.

    But I still wonder about about the message getting to the right person. I once received a wrong number to my voice mail, with a message something like, “This message is for Linda So-and-so from Dr. Smith’s office. We’re just calling to let you know that your test results were positive.”


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