Parents shocked as California school lists sex hotline number instead of suicide prevention tipline on student ID cards
Superintendent of the Lancaster School District Michele Bowers said the school would collect the erroneous cards and issue new ones soon.
Parents of children studying at New Vista Middle School in Lancaster, California, shocked to find that the suicide prevention number listed on their wards' school identification cards directed them to a sex hotline.
Concerned by the folly on the school's part, one of the parents, Janene Lavelle, posted the ID card on social media. The back of the card listed the contact details of a number of emergency services such as "Call 911 if you are in immediate danger."
When it comes to curbing the increasing number of teen suicides, a tipline was included. But instead of being directed to crisis management personnel, one encountered the pre-recorded message of a sex hotline. "I was just kind of flabbergasted. I was very surprised", Lavelle said. "I was a little upset, yes."
She said her daughter discovered the error when she dialed the number just for kicks. "Some recording for, you know, like, hey hot stuff, something, something like that", Lavelle said, describing what her daughter heard.
When an ABC7 journalist dialed the number, a female voice recording said, "Want me to send you a sexy pic of me? Press one now!"
Dr. Michele Bowers, the superintendent for the Lancaster School District, said the snafu happened with two digits being transposed. The school district released the following statement about the incident:
"Late yesterday we were made aware that the middle school student ID cards have the wrong phone number listed for the Suicide Hotline. The phone numbers have two digits transposed and this is a mistake. The number listed on the card is actually a sex line."
The school was to collect all the erroneous ID cards and replace them with new ones, which were being printed. Bowers said these would be distributed as soon as possible.
"I think the district should be responsible for whatever they put out. I mean, it's under their name, and they're ultimately responsible for it", Lavelle said.
The correct suicide prevention number is 1-800-273-8255.