If you’re calling to lie . . .

Here’s the (alleged) answering machine message at a school in Australia.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Nieporent says:

    Fantastic! If only this can be done for real!

  2. This has been circulating for years.

  3. I’m sorry Joanne, but this is a hoax. Please check out the link below if you wish to get verification about it’s status as a hoax. The origin can be traced back to a school district in California where the community was upset by an ultra strict attendance policy. The creators were poking fun at the school district and it’s attitudes towards it’s students.


    or link here

    I’m disappointed that this piece of garbage made it to your blog, especially the bit about “if you want options in another language option, then move to a country that speaks it”

    I promise to check my sources and verify the content that I put out on my blog and I’d hope you would to. This piece is meant to shame schools and educators! I’m sorry for such a tough response, but I hope you reconsider this post and remove it.

    Looking forward to excellent reading into the future,

    -Jim Ellis

  4. Richard Nieporent says:

    Some people have no sense of humor. I am sure that Joanne understood that it wasn’t real, hence her use of the word alleged before the link. Just because you don’t like it, don’t accuse Joanne of being credulous.

  5. I did put the “alleged” there for a reason.

    I’m surprised you see this as a hit on schools and educators, Jim. I saw it as making fun of parents.

  6. Patrick Bassett (President, National Association of Independent Schools) has been using this in talks for over a year.

    My take in January 2010:


    “Even though it’s a hoax, it’s so popular because it captures the frustrations many teachers and school officials feel from “my child is a special snowflake” parents — you know, the turbo-jet attack helicopter kind.”

  7. Alright, I can take a joke. I can see where there are places that I could teach that would be relatively homogeneous culturally, religiously, or ethnically. It could then have joking qualities for sure.

    So, to put a little perspective on why I feel this post should come down you have to understand where I’ve taught. In the heavy Mexican immigrant attended schools of Phoenix, AZ you will find sharp divisions between the Native USA citizen teacher population, largely white, and that of the community it serves.

    Several times between 2003-2007 this link (and it’s original cousin) were used to stoke dislike for students and their families that was always just beneath the surface. These videos help validate these teacher feelings of dislike for their students and create a riff between teachers and certainly don’t aid relations between the school and the community it aims to serve. These pieces in aggregate have an eroding effect of school culture, collegiality and congeniality.

    It that were not enough, do look at the snopes hoax article where it clearly states that this original piece was created by a community upset with the school and their policies. It’s design it to poke fun at educators. Granted it has been re-purposed to do the exact opposite.

    Joanne, you see this as a hoax, but that makes fun of parents. OK, fine. We agree to that premise, but we don’t agree as to the effect pieces like this have when distributed in schools. Do you think making fun of parents in your blog is constructive? Imagine one teacher passing this around to an entire school staff with one click. Imagine that school struggles to connect with it’s community and that problems are mounting. This link will not aid anyone, but corrode.