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School sent out wrong message! Panic after parents get absence text.

Byline: LAURA COX

A LIVERPOOL school's phone lines were jammed after a badly worded message sparked parents' fears that their children were not in class.

Gateacre Comprehensive has apologised after texts were sent yesterday morning to more than 400 parents asking for an explanation for pupil absence.

It read: "All absences should be reported by 9.30am. Please call Gateacre School or text with the reason for the absence. Many thanks."

The message was interpreted by many as saying that their child was not in school.

They feared something had happened to them on their way. Phone lines quickly became jammed as frantic mums and dads rang to query the message.

One dad, taxi driver Joe Frankland of West Derby, tried to get through to the school but could not.

His 13-year-old daughter Charlie's mobile was switched off.

He said: "Straight away I thought something must have happened to Charlie.

"Her phone went straight to voicemail because she was in class but at that point I thought she hadn't turned up.

"All sorts of things were going through my head. I'm a single parent, I'm responsible for her. I kept thinking I must have done something wrong."

Eventually the school sent a second message to parents apologising for the first.

Gateacre school headteacher, Gerrard Lonergan, said: "One of our admin people sent a general text out about parents notifying us about pupils' absence.

"That is nor mal procedure. But, she realised it had gone out to everyone and put some doubt in parents minds. It was bad wording."

CAPTION(S):

SORRY: Gateacre Comprehensive RELIEVED: Joe Frankland with his daughter, Charlie, and (right) the misleading text message Picture: JAMES MALONEY
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 25, 2012
Words:279
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