A New York mother is furious because of a school’s robocall software that keeps mispronouncing her daughter’s name as a racial slur.
Nicomi Stewart, whose daughter, Nicarri, attends Edison Career and Technology High School, said that she was horrified when she got a call from the school after her daughter missed a day of class.
“This is Edison Career and Technology High School. Your daughter, N****r, has missed period one on…” the robocall said. It came in more than once, so Stewart was able to record it.
“I was like, wow, am I really hearing you correctly, did the machine just say this?” Stewart told WHAM TV. “It was unbelievable. I was shocked. I was disgusted. I was upset.”
The school said that the mispronunciation was due to the robocall technology, which is similar to that in a GPS device and is sometimes prone to incorrect pronunciations.
Lawrence Bo Wright, the deputy superintendent of administration for the Rochester City School District, publicly apologized to Stewart, saying, “Representatives from the district have talked with the family and apologized profusely, as we should. We can’t say enough how sorry we are.”
Even though the school has since assured Stewart that it would take her daughter’s name off the robocall list and keep its communications with Stewart to phone and email, Stewart says she has received two more robocalls with the same racial slur in place of her daughter’s name.
“It’s disrespectful and it’s degrading. I don’t even use that word in my house, so why is my child being called this?” Stewart asked.
What’s more, Stewart’s daughter’s name was pronounced correctly by the robocall machine last year.
“They’re making me look like I’m slightly bananas and lying about this, when they’re saying they rectified something they haven’t rectified yet,” Stewart said.