AN entire school board has resigned after a video showed members mocking parents for allegedly wanting “to smoke pot” and claiming they use staff as “babysitters.”
The incident unfolded during a virtual public meeting on Wednesday night about reopening schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A California school board quit after members made fun of parents for wanting ‘to smoke pot’Credit: Twitter / Laurel Principal
They claimed parents used staff ‘as babysitters’Credit: Twitter / Laurel Principal
The president and three other members of the northern California school board resigned after they were caught in a hot-mic incident mocking parents ahead of a public meeting about reopening schools during the pandemic.
Schools Superintendent Greg Hetrick confirmed Oakley Union Elementary School District President Lisa Brizendine resigned after the call.
Brizendine was on the call with Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito and Richie Masadas – the three other members who constitute the school board – before the public meeting started.
Unaware parents began signing onto the meeting, the four mocked parents for wanting to “smoke weed.” Brizendine joked parents were upset and “want their babysitters back.”
They all quit during a virtual public meeting on Wednesday nightCredit: YouTube
Schools Superintendent Greg Hetrick confirmed Oakley Union Elementary School District President Lisa Brizendine resigned after the callCredit: Twitter / @ Lisa Brizendine
“They forget there’s real people on the other side of those letters that they’re writing,” Brizendine said. “They don’t know what we know behind the scenes, and it’s really unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back.”
“If you’re gonna call me out, I’m gonna f**k you up,” one board member was heard saying.
After parents began signing onto the call, the board stopped their remarks, but that didn’t stop parents from voicing concern over their rude mockery.
Ashley Stalf, a mother of a six-year-old who attends a school in the district, called the board’s remarks “heartbreaking.”
“We meet regularly with the board as parents and we’re constantly sending in letters and emails and telling them our griefs and our strifes over distance learning,” Stalf said.
Parents were shocked at what they heard, and wondered what was said behind closed doorsCredit: YouTube
A petition was created to get the board removedCredit: Change.org
“It seems as of late that they mocked us, that we’re just complaining and we have nothing better to do.
“What are their true intentions, if they feel so freely that they can talk, you know, on a mic that may or may not be hot, what’s truly being said behind closed doors?”
Parents then began sending out a petition letter to remove the board, and by Thursday, Superintendent Hetrick had issued an apology for the board’s “truly inappropriate comments.”
“The comments made were not in alignment with our vision and are definitely not what any of us stand for as leaders. I know that we lost trust with the community. I will not make excuses for what happened or why it happened,” Hetrick said.
“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,” he continued.
Brizendine also apologized as well. “I am raising a 10-year-old with special needs and having him home during this pandemic, while also holding down two jobs to support my family has been a huge stress.”
“I suffer with many of the same things that parents are going through from mental health issues to regression,” Brizendine said. “My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry.”