- In a virtual meeting, board members mocked parents who wanted to know when the school would reopen.
- The members said parents wanted their “babysitters” back and implied they wanted to do drugs.
- The members did not realise the meeting was public, and all resigned after complaints from parents.
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An entire school board in Northern California resigned after being heard swearing and mocking parents during a virtual meeting that they thought was private.
The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, was among the Oakley Union Elementary School District board of trustees. Clips of the meeting were shared on Twitter by local NBC reporter Bigad Shaban.
“They want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back,” Lisa Brizendine, the board’s president, can be heard saying in one video about parents concerned over when the school would be reopening.
2) Before she realized the public was listening in, School Board President Lisa Brizendine criticized parents who continue to be frustrated by the district's Covid-related school closures:
— Bigad Shaban (@BigadShaban) February 18, 2021
Richie Masadas, another board member, seemed to imply that parents wanted their kids back in school so they could do drugs.
“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana and the clientele were parents with their kids in school,” he said, prompting laughter.
Another member, Kim Beede, asked, “Are we alone?” before saying, “B—-, if you call me out, I’m going to f— you up,” in a general reference to critical parents.
Unknown to the school board members, the meeting was actually public and was being recorded by some parents of children at the school, local outlet KTVU reported.
One clip shows the moment when the board members realised the meeting was open to the public: “Uh oh,” one said as they respond with surprise before quickly making the meeting private.
The videos drew immediate backlash from parents calling on the board to resign and a petition that garnered thousands of signatures.
Brizendine, the board’s president, resigned on Friday, followed shortly by the rest of the members, KTVU reported.
“My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry,” Brizendine said in a statement to the outlet.
The school Superintendent, Greg Hetrick, also issued an apology.
“Last night at the Oakley Union Elementary School District Regular Board Meeting there were unfortunate and truly inappropriate comments made that were heard by many. These comments are not typical and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district,” Hetrick said, according to NBC Bay Area.
After almost a year of virtual meetings, it seems some people still can’t quite figure it out.
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