On Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 Fresno Unified School District sent a robocall, text message using the District’s messaging system, voice mail, and email to parents regarding an upcoming DACA workshop at FUSD’s DREAM Center with Univision and the Central Valley Immigration Collaborative.
The voice mail is transcribed below,
Good evening, Fresno Unified School District, Univision, and the Central Valley Immigrant Collaborative invite you to attend a DACA renewal workshop that will take place Wednesday April 4th, 2018 from 4 to 7 pm at 3402 North Blackstone Suite 245 in the Manchester Mall. If you have previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or before September 5th, 2016 you can still submit your DACA renewal. Documents you must bring: Your previous application, two pictures passport size, your work permit card, money order for $495 dollars. Come and join us. For more information call at 559-387-7651. Thank you and have great day.
Audio credit: Provided to CVO by FUSD parent
Parents began receiving the message at 2:01 PM until the early evening. Numerous parents say they answered the phone believing it was an emergency or other pressing issue with their child. Some parents received all three methods of communication.
Fresno Unified School District usage of all three methods of communication in announcing a DACA workshop is problematic for many reasons, but I will focus on the top two:
Did FUSD utilize the rapid response system or another messaging system?
The Central Valley Observer discovered FUSD has many different avenues to connect with parents. The first is a general messaging system sent from schoolmessenger.com and the other is the Rapid Alert system, which is Fresno Unified’s emergency notification system. The question is whether FUSD utilized the Rapid Alert system or database for this message. I’m assuming FUSD will justify this message as a regular parental notification from schoolmessenger.com and not connected with the Rapid Alert system. Oddly enough, parents can opt into the Rapid Alert system by texting “Yes” to 67587, which is the same number the DACA message came from.
Confused yet? Don’t be, it may be intentional. FUSD will probably pass this off as just another message sent from schoolmessenger.com notifying parents of events and not an actual emergency. The actual Rapid Alert system text may come from a different number, but if it does, why opt in using the same number where schoolmessenger.com notifications come through? If the school is message happy, as in texting like a retail store for promotional sales, wouldn’t they want to use this mode of communication for important messages only? After all, we grow tired of repeated messages that are not applicable and will eventually opt out, which can be detrimental in the event an actual emergency occurs.
Why is FUSD promoting Univision and the Central Valley Immigration Collaborative?
No secret, Univision is one of the largest Spanish media companies in the Valley and referencing this giant lends credibility to the cause. Does this mean Univision paid FUSD for this name drop? FUSD cannot simply promote a company for goodwill. Something interesting is going on here.
At the end of the message, parents are encouraged to call a number where they can receive more information. Why would FUSD offer a pipeline to a third-party organization?
Under this theory, any media group and third-party organization should be able to send a message to all parents in support of their cause, right? I’m sure FUSD will attempt to clean this up by stating the DREAM center is a necessity in Fresno Unified.
Bottom line, irrespective of what messaging system this came, from parents clicked or listened to the voice mail because they thought it was an imperative message about their children. In today’s society parents do not take messages from schools lightly. In the end, FUSD wanted this message heard and it was.