WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- When these bored middle school students tried to call the suicide prevention hotline listed on the back of their student ID cards, they were shocked to discover it was actually a sex hotline.
- The sex hotline was mistakenly listed as one of the emergency resource numbers on the student ID cards issued by their school.
- The school district has since apologized for the error and collected all student IDs to have them replaced.
Boredom led New Vista Middle School student Emily Lavelle and her friends to try calling the suicide prevention hotline listed on the back of their student ID cards.
But when they dialed the number, it turned out to be a hotline for something entirely different — sex.
The sex hotline was listed as one of the emergency resource numbers on the student ID cards issued by their school, which was located in Lancaster, California.
Emily informed her mother, Janene, about the discovery on Monday after she was picked up from an after-school program.
Janene told CNN, “First thing I did was call the number, and sure enough, it was a sex line. I was pretty shocked — it was kind of disbelief.”
Janene had wanted to call the school district but it was already after hours. So she posted a picture of the back of her ID to Facebook instead, where it quickly went viral.
The post was eventually taken down by Facebook on Wednesday. Janene said she received a message that said the post “goes against our community standard on adult sexual solicitation.”
The superintendent of the Lancaster School District has since issued a statement apologizing for the error.
Superintendent Michelle Bowers said in a statement, “We are very sorry for this error, and we are working hard to correct it. The phone numbers have two digits transposed and this is a mistake. The incorrect number listed on the card is actually a sex line.”
Bowers ensured that all student IDs have since been collected by school administrators, who plan to print and distribute new student IDs as soon as possible.
In the meantime, calls to the incorrect number on the ID are rerouted to the suicide prevention hotline.
Superintendent Bowers said in an email to CNN, “Upon learning about the problem (I’m assuming because of the increased calls and inquiries), the owner of the sex line number was kind enough to have all calls on that number forwarded to the suicide prevention hotline.”
Janene remarked, “In my opinion, anything the district puts out, they’re responsible for. I don’t really expect them to do a whole lot more than apologize and fix it.”
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, you can call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in suicidal crisis or distress.