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For Baltimore parents, an unwelcome wake-up call

Good morning, this is your mayor.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-BlakeThat was the voice parents of Baltimore City Public Schools students heard before the chickens Friday at 5:30 a.m.

The jarring wake-up call was a big mistake, school officials admitted hours later.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had recorded a back to school message for parents of the system’s nearly 85,000 enrolled students to be blasted out via robocall closer to the opening day of school, Aug. 26, her spokesman said.

But an error in the communications office of the city school system queued up the message for Friday morning, jarring many parents of out of peaceful slumber in the waning days of summer break. (Including, according to her Twitter account, a very apologetic mayor.)

“As part of Baltimore City Public Schools’ back-to-school messaging campaign, an automated call recorded by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake mistakenly went out early this morning, from 5:30-6 a.m.,” a statement by school spokeswoman Edie Foster-House said. “The call was immediately stopped. The district apologizes to the mayor, and to families for the early and unintended wake-up call.”

Rawlings-Blake’s spokesman, Travis Tazelaar abruptly distanced City Hall from the mess.

“We really have no control over that,” Tazelaar said in a brief phone interview. “We’re referring all questions to the school system.”