Robocalls wake up parents at 4 am

Broward County Public Schools blames failed default setting

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A robocall from the Broward County Public Schools woke up thousands of parents across the county on Tuesday morning.

"This is an important message from Broward County Public Schools," said the voicemail. "Do you know someone who left high school earning their diploma or GED?

The call was made at 4 a.m.

"At first, you get scared. I have family that lives out of town. I looked at the caller ID and I saw it was Broward County Public Schools and I was like 'woah,'" said Allison Lerner. "I was like it's 4 a.m. I though I was dreaming."

The non-urgent message advertised a graduation program for high school dropouts. Lerner's oldest is 12 years old.

"(It's) definitely an inconvenience because after it woke me up, I laid there for about 30 minutes and couldn't fall back asleep," she said.

School leaders met about the robocall Tuesday. They blamed a default setting designed to prevent robocalls from going out after hours, saying it failed.

"We mistakenly overrode one of several safeguards," said another robocall made Tuesday afternoon.

Broward County Public School then issued a statement, saying: "The District says it extends sincere apologies to individuals who received after hours ParentLink calls late last night and early this morning... Corrective and preventive measures have been taken to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

"They're usually very helpful. It tells you things going on in the school, the county, but to get a call at 4 in the morning -- it wasn't very helpful," said Lerner.

The Parentlink System is a service provider for Broward County Public Schools. It's unclear how many parents received the 4 a.m. robocall.

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