A California school board is facing fierce backlash after members were caught on a hot mic mocking parents who want classrooms to reopen for in-person learning.
Members of the Oakley Unified Elementary School District Board of Trustees believed they were speaking privately during a Webex meeting Wednesday, but the meeting was actually open to the public, ABC 7 reported.
“They don’t know what goes on behind the scenes,” board member Lisa Brizendine said during the meeting, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “It’s really unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back.”
Board member Richie Masadas joked that his brother had a medical marijuana service and “the clientele were parents with their kids in school,” the Chronicle reported.
At one point in the meeting, board member Kim Beede asked her fellow board members, “Are we alone?” before ranting against an online critic.
“B——, if you’re going to call me out, I’m gonna f—- you up,” she said. “Sorry, that’s just me.”
Superintendent Greg Hetrick released a statement condemning the comments, saying he is “responsible and accountable” for what took place.
“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,” his statement read, in part, ABC 7 reported. “These comments are not typical and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district.
“I know that we lost trust with the community,” he continued. “I will not make excuses for what happened or why it happened. I am the superintendent. I am responsible and accountable and I am truly sorry for what took place. I have been and continue to be committed to working together for the betterment of the Oakley Union Elementary School District students, staff and entire school community. I know that our students deserve better from us. I pledge to work collaboratively with stakeholders and community members to begin doing the important work that is needed to rebuild community trust in our district.”
Parents have created an online petition calling for the board to resign or be recalled.