Bad Call

WSVN — She called the school to see if her grandson could enroll in the pre-K program. She got a call back, a voice mail that sent her from happiness to horror. What was said by the school official? Let’s bring in Patrick Fraser to let you listen to that bad call.

Shanita just adores her 4-year-old grandson.

Shanita Thomas, raising Paul: “Paul is a loving kid. He’s happy. He’s a talker.”

Since Paul needs special care, Shanita is very protective of him, so she asked us not to show his face.

Shanita Thomas: “He has behavior and a speech thing going on, and one of his ears he has a problem with.”

A child like Paul needs the right school, and that’s why Shanita contacted Crowder Elementary School in Miami.

A school employee called and got Shanita’s voice message.

Voice of Shanita Thomas: “If you’re calling for me, the lady … leave me a message at the beep.”

The school official started her message.

“My name is Lily O. I am calling from Miami-Dade County Public Schools.”

Shanita says at the beginning of the message she was hopeful, thinking it meant her grandson got into the special pre-K program he needed…

Shanita Thomas: “I heard this woman speaking, and she was telling me that you have an interview, and I was happy. I was like, ‘Oh, my God.'”

But as the voicemail continued, Shanita went from happiness to horror.

You can hear the woman who the school district identified as Lillian Orozco. She apparently thought she hung up the phone but did not, and her voice message continues.

Phone message from Lillian Orozco: “Her name is Shanica, but if you’re calling me, the lady, she has to be an escort service person. Don’t you think?”

Shanita says she and her sisters have always called each other “The Lady,” and she still uses the nickname today.

The woman from the school thought it meant she was a hooker.

Voice of school employee: “If you’re an escort, that’s great I have no problem with that. That’s wonderful, pay your taxes, please.”

Shanita Thomas: “You know she has to be a call girl, and I’m like, I fell back on the couch, and I listened and started bawling out of control.”

Shanita says, unbelievably, the caller from the school was not through with her insults.

Voice of school employee: “That means that out of all of the [expletive] holes in the family … that means the entire family is [expletive] and out of the entire [expletive]. This is the least [expletive] in the family.”

Shaken and angry, Shanita called their family attorney.

Andrew Ben, attorney of the Ben Law Firm: “That was really outrageous and malicious.”

The school district turned the complaint about the call to a company that handles their legal issues. Ben says they didn’t apologize. Instead, offered Shanita $1,500. When he said no, he says they challenged him.

Andrew Ben: “She didn’t seem to care and I told her I would go to the public. If she wouldn’t take it seriously and her reaction was ‘bring it on.'”

The school employee who left the voice mail would not go on camera.

The Miami-Dade School District just wanted to issue a statement saying they expect employees to be professional. Adding, “The employee has been administratively reassigned while the school district conducts a thorough investigation. If the allegations are substantiated, we will take all appropriate disciplinary action.”

They did not specify what those actions could be.

Andrew Ben: “It’s disturbing when you keep in mind that these people are handling not just school children, but quite often special needs school children.”

Understandably, Shanita says she decided to send her grandson to a different school.

Shanita Thomas: “I just can’t imagine him being around anyone that will have this kinda thought in their head about anyone.”

A bad call to a grandmother trying to help her special grandson.

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