For parents with children in grade school, school delays due
to bad weather are a common occurrence. In most cases, parents can get
notifications of school delays/closing by checking the internet, through email,
or by catching the local news before heading to bed. Some school districts,
however, take the extra step of robocalling parents to let them know of
Aaron Titus, father of five, became more than a bit
irritated when he was woken up at 4:30 by a robocall from the Prince George's
County School District informing him that the start of school would be delayed
by two hours. Titus was perturbed because 1) it was 4:30 in the morning, and 2)
he already knew about the delay because he saw it on TV the night before, states
the Washington Post.
So Titus decided to take matters into his own hand by
finding an online robocalling company to dish out a bit of payback. In the end,
he found the phone numbers of 19 school officials and sent them their own
4:30am wakeup call the very next morning.
The recording explained:
is a Prince George's County School District parent, calling to thank you for
the robocall yesterday at 4:30 in the morning. I decided to return the favor.
While I know the school district wanted to ensure I drop my child off two hours
late on a snow day, I already knew that before I went to bed. I hope this call
demonstrates why a 4:30 a.m. call does more to annoy than to inform. Quit
robocalling parents at 4:30 in the morning or at least allow us to opt out of
these intrusive calls.
Of the 19 officials (including the superintendent) that were
called, 8 of them actually woke up to answer the phone.
After being awakened by the robocall, school board member
Donna Hathaway Beck stated, "I
wholeheartedly agree that calls at that hour of the morning are a bad
A spokesman for the school district said that someone
entered the wrong time into the system, as most robocalls go out in the 5 or 6
o'clock hour. However, the damage was already done -- over 127,000 households
"I think, in the future, if we know the night before,
we need to make the call the night before," concluded school board member
Edward Burroughs III.