Nicomi Stewart is an angry mum. She is angered by the consistent mispronunciation of her daughter’s name by a robocall machine.
According to Stewart, an automated call was sent to her phone pronouncing the name of her daughter Nicarri with a racially toned “N” word.The message was simply meant to inform her that her daughter had missed a class and said “This is Edison Career and Technology High School. Your daughter, N****r, has missed period one on…”
The robocall was repeated a couple of times, giving Stewart a perfect opportunity to record it.Speaking to a local Tv station, Steward said, “It was unbelievable. I was shocked. I was disgusted. I was upset.”
The school administration was however profusely apologetic over the incidence and promised to have the girl’s name removed from the automated calling system.
Lawrence Bo Wright, the deputy superintendent of administration at the school, said that the mispronunciation was caused by a software error, adding that the school has contacted the family and apologized accordingly.
The school has outsourced its messaging services to Blackboard Connect, a software developer who is responsible for the mass messages to various stakeholders.
Blackboard Connect explained that the software generates voice from text that is keyed into the system through a Test To Speech(TTS) app. “In this case it appears that the system mispronounced the recipient’s child’s name, sounding like a racial slur.”
The story could not have made as much scuffle had WHAM-TV not made a thing about it. However, Stewart was still annoyed by the fact that the school kept on sending her the slurred message even after the complaints.
“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.
The school claimed that the problem had been rectified and that they would only contact her by phone a call or email until the correction is done.