Thursday, April 11, 2013

School robocall causes minor flap

So, here's the deal: The principal at Bonny Kate Elementary School sent out a robocall to parents whose children attend the school, asking them to call Knox County Commissioner Mike Brown if they want the school to be able to pay for the School Technology Challenge thing-a-ma-jig or whatever. (Brown's southern district includes the school.)

In the call (right smack here), she noted that her school was chosen to participate in the deal and said the funding is built into the proposed school budget for next year, which the board of education and the county commission must approve. (The BOE already did.)

She “strongly encouraged” parents to contact Brown “if this is an opportunity that you would like your children to be a part of,” according to the message. She also provided the commissioner's county email address and a phone number to reach him.

Well, some folks aren't happy, and one person even sent an email to county officials, school officials, all officials.

You can find it right smack here. Essentially the writer is somewhat apologetic but suggests that the phone system was used for political purposes and questions whether anyone would be allowed to use it. The writer talk about hypothetical cuts that could be made in the upcoming budget.

Then the writer starts yapping about Obamacare, and, well, quite frankly, well. Unoriginal.

Anyhoo, I talked to a couple of commissioners, and they weren't pleased, but they weren't going to make an FBI case out of it, either.

More importantly, though, Mike Brown didn't seem to mind. He joked that no one called him, other than the robocall.

Brown, who attended the school man, many centuries ago, said he has a good relationship with the principal, and wasn't concerned.

KNS reporter Lydai X. McCoy talked to School Board member Pam Trainor, whose district also includes Bonny Kate, and Trainor said that she didn't have a problem with the call, adding that she felt it was a “civic lesson” about the budget process and one of many ways a principal can reach out to parents. (Man, that was a long sentence.)

“This is not a political thing. She was just trying to help,” Trainor said. “Our go-to would be Mike Brown. He's one of the 11(commissioners) who will make the decision.”

Trainor said the principal was excited that her school was one of 11 that had been chosen to participate in a technology initiative that would put instructional technology at her school.

“This is an opportunity that a lot of Knoxville never gets. Three of my schools are in this mix and it's a huge boost to the South Knoxville schools,” she said.


rachel craig said...

I got a "this message cannot be opened because of contents" message.


(But then the softward went ahead and opened it. Honestly seemed like much ado about nothing to me.

Mike Donila said...

Yeah, not a big deal, really, but it might get mentioned at a commish meeting, so figured I'd put something up about it.