Schools Discover Automated Calling and Go Wild

Ellen Gameran:

All over the country, schools are putting in automated phone systems that can quickly place thousands of recorded calls. Originally intended to notify parents of emergencies, more and more automated messages are about routine matters, ranging from stern warnings about talking in class to how to dress for tomorrow’s pep rally.
One automated calling company, TeleParent Educational Systems, of Fullerton, Calif., lets teachers pick from a menu of 600 canned messages — including one that says a child is a “pleasure to have in class” and another saying he or she has “been late to class five or more times.”