California school ID badges list phone sex line instead of suicide prevention number

LANCASTER, California (WPVI) -- School officials in California were scrambling to respond Tuesday after middle school students reportedly dialed a suicide prevention hotline and heard a sexually explicit message.

Students at New Vista Middle School in Lancaster allegedly stumbled across a sex hotline instead of the resource number they were originally looking for.

The back of student identification badges list several emergency and resource numbers. The difference between the two hotline numbers is just one digit, but it was enough to leave many parents furious.

"I was just kind of flabbergasted. I was very surprised," said parent, Janene Lavelle. "I was a little upset, yes."

Lavelle said for kicks, her daughter called the number, then quickly alerted her to call.

They couldn't believe what they heard.

"Some recording for, you know, like, hey hot stuff, something, something like that," Lavelle said.

Lavelle said she posted about the mistake on Facebook, and it went viral.
Administrators collected the old badges Tuesday and will hand out new ones soon, school officials said.

The correct suicide prevention number is: 1-800-273-8255.

"I think the district should be responsible for whatever they put out. I mean, it's under their name, and they're ultimately responsible for it," said Lavelle.

The Lancaster Unified School District released the following statement about the incident:

"Late yesterday we were made aware that the middle school student ID cards have the wrong phone number listed for the Suicide Hotline. The phone numbers have two digits transposed and this is a mistake. The number listed on the card is actually a sex line."

If you or someone you know if struggling with thoughts of self harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.