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School Answering Machine Message


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OT School answering machine


> (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 is the actual answering machine message for the school. 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 schoolwork to pass their classes.

> The outgoing message:

> "Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the 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- 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!


> If you can read this - thank a teacher!

> If you are reading it in English - thank a veteran!



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I have to add my 2 cents here. I am a teacher in a K - 5 school for the past 15 years. As much as I hate to say it, there is much truth in that answering machine message. It is becoming truer and truer with each year I teach. Please let me point out that it certainly doesn't apply to everyone but to more and more parents wtih each passing year. The teacher is an easy "scapegoat" for a child that is poorly parented.

Ginny, I liked your comment about responsibility disappearing from the English language too. I have a number of parents who won't let their 3rd grader take responsibility for ANYTHING. They jump in right away to defenc the child as they don't want their child to have any consequences, no matter how minor. I do try to explain that children need to learn responsibility gradually; if they don't get any consequences now, they certainly will at some point in the future. Their boss, when they get their first job at 16, won't be too impressed if the child is mouthy or doesn't want to do the job that he or she was hired for. Their parent won't be able to "save" them in that situation.

Anyhow, I could go on and on about things. I try to go in each day and do the best job that I can. I love teaching and the children but I sure dislike having to deal with unreasonable parents -- the joy of the job does begin to disappear. If I had it to do all over again, knowing what I know now, ..... and i really do love kids and teaching

gail p-m

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