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Insulting Voice Mail
at Pacific Palisades High School-Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor The eRumor says that
parents at Pacific Palisades High School in California are suing the
school because students who were absent or didn't complete their
work got failing grades.
It also includes the alleged text of a school voice mail greeting
that insults the parents.
This voice mail message never
actually appeared on any high school voice mail system in Pacific
Palisades, California, but the written version of it was created as
a humorous and sarcastic response to an actual controversy at one of
In 2002 there was conflict between parents and school authorities at
Pacific Palisades Charter High School over an attendance policy.
The school is a part of Palisades Charter Schools, which operate
under the Los Angeles Unified School District, but independently.
The school tried to crack down on absences by deciding that any
unexcused absences of ten or more days per tem would result in
automatic failure for the student.
A result was that during the first term of 2002, more than a hundred
students who had otherwise passing grades were flunked because of
absences and tardies.
The parents cried foul.
They said they had not know about the policy and some threatened to
take the issue to court.
Then the Los Angeles Unified School District got into the fray by
saying that since the attendance policy had not been cleared with
them, the failing grades would have to be set aside.
The school disagreed, saying it had the privilege of operating
autonomously because of being a charter school.
In the midst of that, someone created the fictional answering
machine message, which has circulated ever since as a monument of
what teachers and administrators would like to be able to say to
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
SCHOOL ANSWERING MACHINE
(This is hilarious, no wonder some people were offended!)
This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High
(California) Staff voted unanimously to record on their
school telephone answering machine. This came about
because they implemented a policy requiring students
and parents to be responsible for their children's absences
and missing homework.
The school and teachers are being sued by parents who
want their children's failing grades changed to passing
grades even though those children were absent 15-30
times during the semester and did not complete enough
school work to pass their classes.
This is the actual answering machine message for the
school: "Hello! You have reached the automated answering
service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting
the right staff member, please listen to all your options before
making a selection:
**"To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1."
**"To make excuses for why your child did not do his work-
**"To complain about what we do - Press 3."
**"To swear at staff members - Press 4."
**"To ask why you didn't get information that was already
enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to
you - Press 5."
**"If you want us to raise your child - Press 6."
**"If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone -
**"To request another teacher for the third time this year-
**"To complain about bus transportation - Press 9."
**"To complain about school lunches - Press 0."
"If you realize this is the real world and your
child must be
accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior,
class work, homework, and that it's not the teachers' fault
for your child's lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!"
If you can read this thank a teacher. If you are
reading it in English thank a veteran.
2 For 1
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