- Category: Funny news
- Written by Gi
CONWAY, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Chronically tardy and truant high school students in Fall River, Massachusetts may think they’re having a nightmare when they are aroused at sunrise on Wednesday by their principal’s voice.
“It’s 6:15 and it’s Durfee High School calling,” booms the voice of Principal Paul Marshall of B.M.C. Durfee High School in a pre-recorded call set to ring through to about 500 of the school’s 2,400 students, Vice Principal Ross Thibault said on Tuesday.
The so-called “robo-calls” are aimed at rousting the worst-offending sleepyheads from bed and getting them to school on time.
Robo-calls are typically used to notify parents of weather-related school delays and cancellations.
Durfee joins the ranks of U.S. schools taking on the added role of alarm clock to combat high rates of tardiness and absenteeism, including New Bedford, Massachusetts and Chicago, Thibault said. In New York City, the wake-up calls feature the voice of former professional basketball star Magic Johnson.
At Durfee, 20 percent of the student body will be getting routine phone calls at home at 6:15 a.m. starting on Wednesday. The school day’s first class begins at 7:45 a.m.
Administrators there hope the effort will boost attendance from 88 percent now to at least 95 percent.
“Historically, we have battled attendance problems — we are an urban district — and our attendance has always been a concern,” Thibault said.
The wakeup message is followed by Principal Marshall explaining that a student has been excessively late or absent, and a request to get to school on time.
The school resorted to robocalls after failing to improve attendance with punishments like detention or enforced study hours at schools, Thibault said.
In a memo posted on the school’s website, administrators wrote, “Chronic tardiness and absenteeism is not tolerated in the world of work and will not be tolerated here as well.”
(Reporting by Zach Howard; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)