Disturbed Dad Sends Return Robo-Call To School District Officials

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Call it robo-call revenge. A Maryland father is woken in the middle of the night by an automated phone call from his child’s school telling him about a snow day.

Denise Koch explains that the message left him steamed, so he decided to get even.

The phone rang at 4:30 a.m. at the Titus home on Wednesday. Jennifer was already up, feeding their newborn, but her husband Aaron was startled out of sleep.

“My first thought was, ‘Who’s dead?'” said Aaron Titus.

He quickly realized it wasn’t an emergency. It was a robo-call from Prince George’s County schools, informing him schools were opening late because of the snow.

But Titus says he already knew that, and that got him thinking.

“I thought, ‘You know what? Maybe they’re just following the golden rule. Maybe they’re treating me the way that they want me to treat them,’” said Aaron Titus. “I thought, ‘If they can send out a robo-call, I bet I could do it, too.'” 

This is the robo thank you call he sent to the superintendent and nine school board members the next day, at 4:30 a.m.: “While I know the school district wanted to ensure I drop my child off two hours late on the snow day, I already knew that before I went to bed. I hope this call demonstrates why a 4:30 a.m. call does more to annoy than to inform.”

His wife says what her husband did wasn’t very nice, but it did accomplish more than if he had just written a letter or called to complain.

“They do a good job. It’s not like we’re out to get revenge. It’s more like ‘Hey guys, that was really dumb,’” said Jennifer Titus.

For now, Aaron Titus says he’s planning to put his phone on “do not disturb” for the next few nights.

The Prince George’s County Schools System says the call should not have been placed at 4:30 a.m. That was a mistake, and they say it will never happen again.

More from Denise Koch
  • poca

    Thats bull we always get the call between 4:30 am and 6am

  • D. Bos.

    This just shows how “OBTUSE” Americans are becoming!!!!!!!! He’s a Big Az Kid and his wife knows it….

  • CarriB

    I can totally relate to this issue. I have two in middle school, my phone rings off the hook all hours of the evening and night x2 at that. It is very disturbing. I personally have asked to have my name removed several times in the school office, yet the calls continue. Kinda like harassment!

    • JW

      But you would be very upset if they took your number off that list and you didn’t receive a call when there was an emergency at the school. I can’t imagine that the school systems send that many messages to you via their phone service that each and every night you are barraged by phone calls. I think this may be a bit of an exaggeration.

  • John Paul.

    What a petty, miserable family. I bet his wife would love to leave him, if only she could think for herself. With people like this around you just cant win. The schools are trying to do the right thing, they are not trying to annoy.! What a d bag.

    • Ally

      Very well put!

  • dddawg

    This is news? What happened here to make this news? Did this guy call the press? “Guess what I just did?” How does something so benign make the news? what a looser.

    • Diane Aylor

      How is the word “LOSER” so commonly misspelled??? How ironic that those who like label others as “losers” can’t even spell the word correctly.

  • ddawg

    There’s even a photo of the phone!!!! – C’mon WJZ are you serious?

  • carol stover

    Who wrote this article? Certainly not a qualified journalist. Don’t you know there is no such word as “woken?” It’s “awakened.” But proper grammar and spelling doesn’t seem to be a priority anymore in the media. Shame on you.

    • baltimore resident

      past participle of wake (Verb)
      1. Emerge or cause to emerge from a state of sleep; stop sleeping.
      2. Become alert to or aware of: “wake up to reality

    • baltimore resident

      check the dictionary before you comment on a post be sure your facts are correct makes you look like an idiot when this happens

  • Jim

    What a big baby, “Put yourself in the corner and suck your thumb.”

  • Ellen Connolly Clampitt

    I love it! Good for him! A call at that time of the morning usually means something bad. I don’t blame him a bit. For those of you who condemn him…my you be “awakened” with a stupid phone call at 4:30 every morning!

    • Ally

      Clampitt-LOL, what a great name……..
      It’s a stupid call to inform parents that their children wont be going in on time? To let parents know that they are going to have to arrange their day a bit? You must not have kids.

      • baltimore resident

        the main theme for the comment is that the night before PG County made the announcement on the radio, tv that school would be 2 hrs late, they should have called the night before if they wanted to be sure people got the message.

      • baltimore resident

        oh so now your the name police too, whats yours if to be so bold??
        Ally Asspitt

      • JW

        Bmore resident, some people don’t watch the ridiculousness that is Bmore area local news each night so I don’t think that’s necessarily a fair expectation that everyone already knew. Yes, they could have sent the message out the night before. Fair enough. But, really? It’s PG County. I think they have bigger things to worry about in their school system than whether the call goes out in the a.m. or the p.m.. And, it’s quite likely that the calling system is set up in such a way that the a.m. call is what it does for school delays. Also, I guarantee someone would have complained had they received a call at 9 or 10 p.m., just after, say, they just got their kids to bed. It’s a no-win situation.

  • harrison

    And if someone didn’t inform him, he’d whine about that, too.

    • Ally


  • Up At Dawn

    I’m sorry, I try not to criticize others, but this guy sounds like a real snot. News must be having a real slow day to report something like this. Maybe he should live in Baltimore City. Our schools wait until the kids are there before declaring a snow day.

  • Still Up

    And by the way; How does he come across the equipment to place a robocall? What did they say he does for a living?

  • paula123

    Hmmm, I was always told that a baby should sleep in a room where the phone is turned off. Maybe he should try that next time and leave the other phones in the house on in case of emergency. As far as I know there is still a little button on the phone that you can use to turn it off. Geez, people complain because they have to get up out of bed and turn on the news or get on a website or listen to the radio to be informed about school closings.. Here the school is making it easier so you can stay under the nice warm blankies and you still aren’t happy. Grow up!!! and yes WJZ, how is this news/? Sounds like he called your station to make it newsworthy.

    • Ally

      I agree. Hope he enjoyed his 5 minutes of fame….

  • Barb

    What an arrogant, rich piece of trash from the DC suburbs. Seriously- who the HELL would have the time to dwell on this for more than one minute, yet alone set up a robocall AND call WJZ to put himself on the news. Look at his poor wife slaving away with all those kids crawling all over her while this lazy piece sits behind a thousand-some dollar computer playing a middle school prank in a glitzy office. Funny how this tool is wearing a blazer and dress shirt. Just goes to show you the old saying still stands- you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig!

  • Barb

    BY THE WAY- how the HELL did this make it to be the featured story on the FRONT PAGE of WJZ’s website? This channel is beginning to lose all credibility.

  • hwooly

    This is the dumbest story I’ve ever read.
    Way to go crazy man! I hope your panties get out of their tight little bunch they must be in!
    How about, instead of being immature, you call the school superintendent and ask if they could please not send out phone calls prior to 6am? I’m sure they would be happy to oblige.

  • Dave

    Dude your a total looser!!! More importantly why is this news worthy???

  • roboCOP

    No what your husband did was dumb and the only thing it accomplished is it proved hes a MORON!!!!

  • YourMom

    I can t totally relate. For those of you who think it is petty most likely do not have kids and have not experience this alarming call so early in the morning. So why don’t you leave your number on here and we can call you randomly so you may because to comment about personal experience.

    • Shandi

      It wasn’t random; it was his child’s school calling to tell him important information. I would LOVE a 430 call from my district! I usually don’t get the call until 530 – 545am when I have to wake my son up at 5! If it is snowing, icing, or fogging, you should be used to these calls coming if you have kids. Aaron Titus is an idiot.

    • JW

      You know what? It wouldn’t bother me if someone called me randomly, because I turn my ringer down when I go to bed. What about this concept is so hard to understand?

      • Michael C. Metalios

        JW, what if someone you love is hurt. Is it okay for you to wait until morning to hear about it? My ringer stays on because I have parents, I have young children, I have elderly grandparents, and I have friends for whom I care. I have a vehicle capable of getting through weather that many of my friends and family do not. Therefore, if someone needs to be run to the hospital for an emergency, I’ll get that call. I have friends who work in the public service arena – one is a firefighter, two are police officers, and two are EMTs. I drove three of them to their jobs last year during the blizzards. They didn’t call me in the middle of the night, but if they did, I would have received the call and taken them where they needed to be.

        It’s a double-edged sword for sure. And I appreciate the INTELLIGENT comments most have been posting. But this is a forum for discussion and opinion, is it not? While you feel that I’m not stepping out of my little box as you put it, I actually already have.

      • JW

        Michael, honestly if someone I love needed a ride due to a medical emergency and they could get to a phone they would probably call an ambulance, not me. Because that makes sense. I also typically wake up periodically through the night so I don’t fear missing some major call. I understand that’s not the case with everyone, but I have to think that there’s another solution. For example, could you give your friends and family your cell phone number to call in an emergency and give the school your landline number for their robocalls, thereby allowing you to turn a ringer down? Or could you give the school your wife’s cell phone number and family member’s yours – or vice versa? Or give the school your work number? You have claimed how organized and connected you and your family are – I should think then that you’d be able to find a solution to this outside of wasting time and energy being angry and frustrated with school employees.

  • FrontOfficeSecy

    I think 4:30 a.m. is a little extreme but I don’t think getting a call like that at 6:00 would be too bad. I work in the front office a High School in Baltimore County and even though schools are delayed I have to be there on time at 7:00 a.m. You wouldn’t believe how many calls I take when we have a two hour delay….”Are schools delayed this morning?” “What time do I have to catch my bus?” My response to the bus question is, “What time do you normally get the bus?” They tell me and I say, “Just add two hours on to that time”. It amazes me that high school age kids can’t figure out what time school starts and when they’re to catch their bus when there is a two hour delay. These aren’t just calls from students, the parents call to ask these questions as well. Baltimore County doesn’t use the “Connect Ed” calls to get the word out about delays. Something to think about though. Might help alleviate many of those annoying calls that I get in the morning when I’m trying to sit there and get “real” work done.

  • Michael C. Metalios

    AND when I wrote to the school about it, I was told that 5:30 was a bit late and they had just received an e-mail requesting the notifications come earlier.

    Go ahead. Call my house @ 4:30. I dare you.

    • Dave

      post it and ill call you…..

  • Michael C. Metalios

    To heck with you naysayers. Show me WHERE when I registered my children for school, did I accept to receive phone calls at 5:30 AM about school closings? Tell me WHERE did I sign on the dotted line stating I would love to be on the robocall list for phone calls @ 6:30 PM during dinner about upcoming events? We are a connected family. If it snows, I check the ‘net and listen to the radio. If there’s an upcoming school event, my children are bringing home a paper telling us so. This is just more of the pussifications of the USA. Something else that others cannot do for themselves and now expect everyone to simply accept being force-fed and not complain about it. It’s the same thing with the local government. I just moved to this county 6 months ago, and over the summer received repeated robocalls telling me about impending thunderstorms. Are you serious? It’s bad enough I have to listen to the alert signals and watch the stupid icons during my favorite TV show. NOW you’re going to call my house as well? Unacceptable. I didn’t sign for it. Take me off your list.

    • Barb

      You’re a whiny little prick- do you know that? Real working class people are busting their ass and only have time to worry about things that actually matter. To hell with you and your pettiness!

      • Michael C. Metalios

        I have a full time job. I support two children and a wife. And I bust my ass right along side you my dear. It’s shame you don’t have anything more interesting to add to the conversation.

      • Barb

        I have already added “interesting” things to the conversation, baby doll. See my above posts. I stand by my comment to you. If you have the time to whine about something like this, you are NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH!

    • JW

      Really? And when your child’s school has a tremendous emergency situation and you don’t receive notification because you are too lazy to turn down the ringer on your phone then you’ll be yelling too. Why not just have the number blocked if it bothers you that much? There is something that you can do for yourself, just like turning down your ringer. Isn’t that what you said? That people should do things for themselves? Give it a shot yourself, sir.

      • Michael C. Metalios

        Fair enough retort. However the issue still stands that I did not ask for this. I didn’t consent to it. It’s akin to spam. Just because I submit my contact information for the school to notify me in the event of an emergency about my child, suddenly I need to know that because there is 1 inch of snow on the ground that my child will be going in 2 hours late? I will find this out when my alarm goes off 1.5 hours later and I hear it on the radio, thanks.

    • JW

      I would suggest that when you decided to have children you opted to receive information about their schooling and that sometimes the phone is going to ring when you don’t want it to. You are “connected” – good. But not everyone is the same as you, and I would suggest there’s a good part of he population that actually views this service as something that makes life easier – it’s much nicer for some people to be able to pick up the phone to find that school is closed than to get up and sit and watch t.v. for an hour to wait and see if the school system is closed. That’s not your opinion, and that’s fine, but the schools are trying to do what they can to communicate important information to parents, but as usual there have to be people in the population to complain and condemn the schools for not doing something they want. I don’t fault you for not wanting a 4:30 a.m. call if you already have a plan in place, but I think there’s a way to handle it (having the number blocked, for example, or giving a number that isn’t going to wake you at night, like your work number, or maybe your landline or a phone that you are able to feel you can turn off at night – I’m sure there are at least 2 phone numbers in your home, not to mention work) rather than getting furious at the school system or taking anger out on school employees. But as I’ve previously alluded to, I think you might rather have a few unnecessary calls rather than miss the call that tells you there’s a horrible emergency at the school, which is what would happen if your name was not on the list.

  • Bob Disney

    I was ready to do the same thing up here in Pennsylvania the other day, I work 3rd shift so I keep an eye on things like that anyhow during snow events. But I came home to find my wife upset about a call at 4:30am as well from the Hanover School District stating the exact same thing – she was ticked. We are adults we know to check on certain situations like this, we do not need a phone call at that time of the morning from anyone to tell us that our schools are opening late, or closed. I told my wife, I wonder how teh school board would like it if we woke them up at 3 in the morning asking them are we opening erly or late next time the weather gets rough. I am glad he did it

    • JW

      Perhaps you should step outside of your own limited world and consider that there are people who need that phone call and need that amount of notice in order to secure transportation or care for their child. Additionally, with high schools starting as early as 7 a.m., a 4:30 call is not unreasonable. If you don’t like it, turn your ringer down. But you’re not the only parents in the district – consider someone other than yourself.

      • FrontOfficeSecy

        I agree with you, JW. I know that there are some of our kids in our high school that have to catch the bus by 6:30 a.m. I work in the front office of a high school and have to be there at 7:00 a.m…..which means I have to leave the house by 6:00 a.m I’m also the mother of a student and parents do need to make arrangements for transportation at times like this.

        Our district doesn’t put the “Connect-Ed” calls out for delays but they do put them out if your student isn’t in class that day, if there are any important events coming up at the school that parents should be aware of. Years ago they used to send home newsletters for this. They now put their newsletters online because the parents weren’t receiving the letters that their kids were supposed to bringing home to them. It’s very costly to have to print out anywhere from 1,200-2,000 newsletters and put them in the mail. I know from working in the school that not every parent has access to the Internet and they welcome the phone calls. I’ve had some parents telling me this. So, like JW suggests, if anyone doesn’t want their phone to ring during the night….just turn the ringer off. There’s no need for all of the drama and I agree that the ones that complain about this would be the first ones to complain if they didn’t get a call if their was a true emergency.

  • Dave

    Michael C. Metalios you too are a total tool!

    • Barb


      • Michael C. Metalios

        Wow. What insightful replies. Thanks. People like you really help those of us who are discussing issues such as these to make progress.

        For the record, my children are in Elementary school. I fully understand the need to have a heads up for transportation arrangements and the like. But, again. I get up early enough to make such arrangements should I discover that my children will be late to school or staying home. When my oldest moves on to middle school, the alarm clock will be set earlier. Again allotting enough time for me to make arrangements should an adjustment to my child’s schedule be necessary.

        So you see, I AM doing things for myself. I’ve planned ahead and will be ready Tuesday morning if there’s an unexpected snowstorm overnight and they don’t go to school. It just takes a little preparation. I don’t need – nor do I want – the school system holding my hand for such situations. I expect a phone call when my child has broken a finger, or is having trouble with a subject. Not because it’s snowing.

      • JW

        Michael, what you are neglecting to understand is that while your children are in elementary school, there are parents who have children in high school. Busses for high schools pick up during the 6 a.m. hour to get students to school by the approximate 7 o’clock start time. So, it is not unreasonable that a parent of a high schooler would need to know that school is closed by 4:30 a.m.. This is what I mean by thinking outside of one’s own world. While you may have a plan in place, and you may have students in elementary school, can we concede that not everyone is perfect, not everyone has a stay at home wife, not everyone has a helpful spouse, or anyone at all to help with the children, and/or not everyone has an understanding employer, meaning that some people need that notice. Furthermore, not always is it clear that school is going to be closed or delayed – sometimes there are unexpected closings (i.e. water main breaks, etc) and the ConnectEd calling system ensures that all parents are properly informed whether there is a major emergency during school hours or a delay outside of school hours. This program is in place for a reason, and while you may personally find that you do not need something like this, it appears that there are a great deal of people who do (as evidenced by several posts from school secretaries and other employees). I can see how this could be annoying,but once again I suggest blocking the number if you choose not to turn your ringer down or off. But then don’t complain when a true emergency occurs and you aren’t aware of it.

  • JW

    To answer the question of what this man does for a living, he’s an attorney and as judged by his blog he spends most of his time complaining, so this is certainly par for the course for this guy. He’s unable to step outside the box of his limited, small world and understand that there are people who do need a call at 4:30 a.m. in order to secure alternate transportation or care for their child, or make alternate arrangements for their job. Not everyone is a swanky attorney, after all, with a wife that stays at home. He’s behaving like a spoiled brat and his wife should be mortified to even be married to him, much less being quoted in the article. Were I her, I would be embarrassed to show my face at the childrens’ school. They have a bunch of children including a newborn – he couldn’t find any better way to channel his energy than this? Shameful, childish, selfish behavior and a poor model for his children. Perhaps he should use some of the energy that it took to be so snarky to instead learn how to turn the ringer down on the phone. Or buy earplugs. Or seek therapy to cure his ridiculous negative and selfish attitude.

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