View Full Version : High School Answering machine

30th Oct 2004, 19:17

This is hilarious, no wonder some people were offended!) This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School(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/her work - Press 2

* 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 - Press 7

* To request another teacher for the third time this year - Press 8

* 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!"


30th Oct 2004, 19:22
That's great.

Now, how long till some parent tries to sue the school for a loss of confidence in sending their kids to school?

30th Oct 2004, 21:08
Heard a version of it attributed to a New York Police precinct (sp?), but it's still a good'un

30th Oct 2004, 22:35
A big subject and I recognise why this has been written.

I have three teenagers at highschool and no matter how much effort we put into getting them to school each day and encouraging for all assignments to be completed on time, there is always a brick wall of nonchalance and ineptness from some of the teachers. This alone is enough for hardworking kids to want to throw the towel in, how on earth can the not so fortunate cope?

Had I not had kids in this situation I would have thought the answering machine message humourous too.

31st Oct 2004, 01:57
Heard a trendy teacher (headmaster) on the radio the other day who was espousing this 'new' method that he had devised. It involved the kids in each year being streamed for a particular subject so that the dumb would not feel left behind and the bright would be able to move on. Funny, I seem to remember that self-same system when I was at Nightingale Junior School in 1955!

But what really got up my nose was the fact that this twerp felt that he had to be a "friend" to the kids. He was also using all kinds of hip 'kid speak' (presumably to prove that he could come down to their level).

When will these prats learn that kids need and expect an authorititative figure in positions like this - not a best mate that can be fecked around.

Then we wonder why some of them reach 16 and have no respect for authority.

31st Oct 2004, 04:57
Its a two way street. We had a real problem with some of the teachers at our local high school. ( I have two out of six at high school at the moment, one at Junior, two at Uni and one grown up.) Then we got to know them, not just five minute interviews, but really to interact socially. We don't thigk theyare all wonderful but we do understand where they are coming from, we're beginning to understand some of their problems, (some we sympathise with and some we don't, isn'yt that just life?) They are beginning to understand our expectations for our kids. That's why we have two at university and two more heading that way.

What are YOU doing about it? Are you monitoring your kids homework? Providing a set period each day for it? Making your kids redo anything that does not meet your (or the teacher's ) expecations? Checking with their teachers every couple of weeks to see if the kids are keeping up? Have you shown your kids what they need to do to get to Uni? (We do that in grade 8 and 9 so they know not to get behind the lift drag curve.) Do you make the teachers lives a misery by running them down to your kids behind their backs? And then do you expect teachers to give their best?

I got a real surprise the first time I got to know the teachers. Not just the official party line. Think how they feel. They call a parent to talk about a student's progress, or lack of it, and they get the whole mouthful: "It's all your fault" "It's up to you to fix it" and a lot worse. We make sure all our kids' teachers know they'll get our full attention and our co-operation. That way they don't mind calling us, even for small things.

Interestingly the studies ( and I am a sceptic) appear to show that individual teachers have less effect on student achievement than the atmosphere in the school, the way the principal runs it, and parent involvement.

Ask not what the school can do for you...............

31st Oct 2004, 07:37
My two kids are now grown up and making their way in life very well thank you. But when they were at school I got sick and tired of constantly having to correct their homework (especially English) for bad grammar and spelling, numeracy etc. When I queried it with the teachers I got the party line about "expression of thought" being more important than the basics.

And yes, both my wife and I spent huge amounts of time with the kids to improve what the school had screwed up. And no, we didn't rant and rave at the teachers. And no, we didn't denigrate the teachers to our kids.

My kids survived and got on despite school.

31st Oct 2004, 08:27
This friend of mine spent the first seven months of this year as a maths teacher (the school was desperate, OK?).

The good kids (NB good at the subject) would get it quite quickly, regardless of how it was put over.

In a bad class, the kids from the dysfunctional homes, who had no idea of how to behave in a group situation, would make it extremely difficult to put over anything at all.

The school would have spent 50% less on special measures if they had got rid of 10 kids. Not 10%, 10. In a school of well over one thousand.

No teacher can let themselves think that the kids learn despite the education system; but I'm halfway sure that was the case.

31st Oct 2004, 12:12
The recent Channel 4 series "That'll teach them"? featured 30 kids who spent a month in a 1950s style school - with the discipline that that implies. There was a long review of it in the Guardian (?) recently. Far from being oppressive, the strict discipline relieved these kids of many of the pressures of modern life -- no peer pressure to misbehave in class (it simply wasn't tolerated at all), no pressure to wear the latest trainers because uniform standards were incredibly strict, no attitude that learning is 'uncool' because the teachers absolutely demanded that they did learn.
They all hated it at first, but at the end many were in tears that the experience was over -- they absolutely loved it and many said they learnt more academically in those four weeks, and more about themselves too, than they had done in years at normal school.

Some quotes from these 16-year-olds who had just been through 30 days of what would be considered verging on abuse in today's modern comprehensive.


I learnt more about all the subjects and about myself than I have done in 16 years.

Overall I enjoyed the experience and felt I learned a great deal about myself and how half-hearted and, in some ways, disappointing the current education system is.

In my opinion, if the 50s education was placed in today's society, I for one would learn a lot more!

My month at King's was the most exhilarating of my life!

gained so much in confidence, esteem, gratitude and love in the month - and am now far happier with myself and appreciative of other people!

31st Oct 2004, 12:30
I was enthused by smoketoomuch's summary of this show. Unfortunately I followed the link. It asked me to click on any one of the faces to share their opinion of their experience. I clicked on the first student in the top row, and the first thing I noticed that one of the three essential elements of his description was "star sign". Uhoh, I thought. Then I read his comments;

Well what can i say about the whole experience! got 2 know sum great ppl and got sum cash from it as well, sum very good experiences with 1 or 2 ppl if you no what i mean!

Err, yes, I think I do. :(

Maybe I should have done a more representative sample. *sigh*

31st Oct 2004, 13:20
found this story in Sunday Mirror, a bit of a diversion i know, but if this is what some schools are up against!

a parent is threatening to sue a school in Yorkshire for removing a 95p 'king size' chip buttie from it's lunch time menu, because it 'removes kids freedom to eat what they like'. The school is trying to get kids to eat a healthier diet.

31st Oct 2004, 20:44
My old high school, which my sister now attends, has taken things such as pizza slices, chips, burgers, cakes etc off the menu, removed all drinks from vending machine that aren't preceded by the word 'diet', and also removed salt shakers from the tables.

Now thats extreme, but you see some of the fatties around now and you get the jist of why!