5008 - Automated Phone and Text Messaging
Automatic telephone dialing systems (“autodialers”) and short message service text messages (“text messages”) can be used to communicate valuable information to students, parents, and the community regarding emergencies and other school-related matters. The superintendent and his or her designees are authorized to use system-wide and school-wide autodialers and text messages to send pre-recorded voice messages or text messages to members of the school community in accordance with applicable law and this policy.
Definitions and Terms
- As used in this policy, “call(s)” and “autodialed call(s)” means a pre-recorded telephone message or a text message, when either is made using an automatic telephone dialing system.
- “Automatic telephone dialing system” or “autodialer” means equipment which has (i) the capacity to store and produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator or a fixed set of numbers; and (ii) the capacity to dial such numbers.
Authorized Use of Autodialed Calls
School officials may make autodialed calls for emergency or informational purposes as follows:
- School officials may call parents, guardians, or school personnel when the call is incident to a bona fide emergency potentially affecting the health and safety of students and/or school personnel, such as weather closures, fire, health risks, threats, and unexcused absences;
- School officials may call other members of the school community to make emergency public safety announcements when the announcements are relevant to the called party.
School officials may call parents, guardians, or school personnel for non-emergency purposes when the call is closely related to the school’s educational mission, such as to provide notification of official system-wide or school-specific events or activities (e.g., parent-teacher conferences, surveys on school-related issues, immunization reminders).
- Autodialed calls may not be used for commercial advertisement or marketing, political campaigning or promotion, or any other non-emergency purpose that is not closely related to the mission of the school or school system, without the express prior consent of the recipient to receive calls of that nature.
- Autodialed calls may not be made for any non-emergency purpose to an individual who has notified the school that he or she does not wish to receive such calls.
Consent and Revocation of Consent
- Before making any non-emergency autodialed call, school personnel must have consent from the recipient to receive such calls.
- Consent will be deemed to have been provided in certain situations, as described in the next paragraph. Consent is not required for emergency calls.
- By providing a telephone contact number to the school system, parents, guardians, and school personnel are deemed to consent to receive non-emergency calls at that number for purposes that are closely related to the school’s educational mission and consistent with this policy, such as to provide notification of official system-wide or school-specific events or activities.
- Parents, guardians, and school personnel may revoke prior consent to receive non-emergency calls at any time. School officials shall honor revocation requests promptly.
Maintaining Contact Information
To minimize the risk of calling unintended recipients, the superintendent shall require principals and supervisors to update telephone contact information for parents, guardians, and employees on a regular basis.
Requests for Removal from Calling Lists
All autodialed calls must include an automated voice-interactive or key-press activated opt-out method for the recipient to opt out of future nonemergency calls.
Legal References: 47 U.S.C. 227, 47 C.F.R. 64.1200; In re: Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 Declaratory Ruling, CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC
16-88 (Aug. 4, 2016), available at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-88A1.pdf; In re: Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 Declaratory Rule and Order, CG Docket No. 02-278, WC Docket No. 07-135, FCC 15-72 (July 10, 2015), available at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-72A1.pdf
Cross References: School Safety (policy 1510/4200/7270), Schools and the Community (policy 5000), Emergency Closings (policy 5050)