Broward News

Broward County Public Schools Robocalls Parents at 4 in the Morning

Broward County Public Schools wanted to know if people knew anyone who might have dropped out of high school to let them know that it's not too late to get a GED so badly that they called people about it at 4 in the morning.

The school district's automated calling system went screwy and called about 70,000 homes late in the night, scaring the crap out of some people and angering even more.

"I was in a dead sleep!" said Jamie Cohn, one of the parents who received a call. "Any time you receive a phone call in the middle [of the] night, it makes your heart stop."

"At first, you get scared," said another parent, Allison Lerner. "I have family that lives out of town. I looked at the caller ID and I saw it was Broward County Public Schools, and I was like 'Whoa.' I was like 4 a.m. I thought I was dreaming."

If you're a parent, then you regularly receive a robocall from your child's school district, with a nonemergency message or reminding you to join the PTA. These calls are annoying as hell at 7 in the evening.

A spokesperson for Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said "the timing" of the calls "was less than ideal."

Some homes received a call more than once. For its part, the school district blamed ParentLink, the robocall contractor, for the glitch.

Broward County Public School issued a statement, promising that no more 4 a.m. phone calls will be made:

"The District says it extends sincere apologies to individuals who received after hours ParentLink calls late last night and early this morning... Corrective and preventive measures have been taken to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

ParentLink is planning to apologize individually to the parents the calls were made to. So, if your phone rings around 3:48 tomorrow morning, it's just them calling to say they're sorry.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph