Last week, one California school scared the hell out of a whole lot of parents. John Adams Elementary School in Corona, CA, accidentally told the parents of 717 students their kids were missing in an automated phone message that was meant to go out to, likely, a much smaller group. Before the school was able to follow up with an explanation and apology, hundreds of parents were seriously freaking out, and understandably so. To be told that your child is absent when you know you dropped them off at school just hours earlier cannot be a fun feeling. In fact, I would venture to guess that it's an absolutely dreadful feeling.
According to Evita Tapia-Gonzalez, spokeswoman for the Corona-Norco Unified School District, a faculty member at John Adams made an "inadvertent error" when using Blackboard Messaging, the school's broadcast messaging system. Instead of sending the message to a filtered group, the "your child is missing" message was sent to all parents.
Before the school had a chance to communicate their mistake, a few parents had already showed up to find out what had happened with their kid. One parent, Angel Lomeli, had four children attending John Adams and she received a separate call about each one. Good God — can you imagine? The school's lucky they didn't give her a heart attack. Lomeli was probably speaking for all the parents when she told the Press Enterprise, "I was scared to death."