By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun
6:44 PM EDT, August 16, 2013
Several thousand city residents got an early wake-up call Friday from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake when a robocall for a back-to-school rally went out by mistake before 6 a.m.
"Just awoken by my own voice," Rawlings-Blake tweeted at 5:57 a.m. Friday. "Robocall for my back to school rally. VERY SORRY in advance to anyone this glitch has inconvenienced/ worried."
Rawlings-Blake apologized personally to several people who had complained to her via Twitter, including Erica Wernery of Northeast Baltimore. Wernery said she understands "these things happen," but she had been up since 4 a.m. helping a neighbor after a car break-in, the latest in a string of property crimes in her East Rosemont neighborhood.
"Dear @MayorSRB thank you for the 5:45am call to remind me about the back to school rally...for the child i dont have," Wernery tweeted.
She does have an 8-month-old, whom the call awoke, she noted.
The call was programmed to go out to the entire district, which serves 85,000 students. It went out between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday, as scheduled, but mistakenly picked up again this morning. Fewer than 5,000 calls went out before they were halted by 6 a.m., officials said.
City school officials said they are investigating what caused the glitch.
"The district apologizes to the mayor, and to families for the early and unintended wakeup call," the school system said in a statement.
The rally is scheduled for Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at War Memorial Plaza.
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