School board members caught on hot mic mocking parents

Arlington Virginia.- The Zoom video meeting and chat app has become the wildly popular host to millions of people working and studying from home during the coro

An entire school board has resigned days after members joked about parents in a virtual meeting being broadcast to the public.

"They want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back", President Lisa Brizendine said during the Wednesday Zoom meeting of the Oakley Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees, a recording of which was posted to Twitter by NBC News Bay Area reporter Bigad Shabad.

The video shows trustee Kim Beede first asking her fellow board members, "Are we alone?" "My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry".

After a few laughs, Brizendine rang the bell to empathize with the others over the growing criticism they face about closed schools, suggesting that parents really want schools to reopen in order to get their babysitters back.

Another school board member, Richie Masadas, then chimed in that his brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana and that his primary clients were parents with school-age children.

Check out some of the footage from the meeting below.

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"This was a hard decision, but we hear the community's concerns, and we believe yielding to your request that we step down will allow the district to move forward", they said.

Oakley Union Elementary School District enrolls about 5,000 students and has not reopened to students despite a push from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Politico reported.

'A recall would cost the district money that should be going to the kids. The high clientele were the parents with their kids at school. California is one of the last states in the country where most students have not set foot in a classroom since March, according to Politico, and disputes between politicians, teachers' unions and parents have grown increasingly rancorous.

'I thought the board members were also advocates for my child and had her best interests at heart and after last night's incident it really has me thinking that they don't'.

The comments followed a discussion with Superintendent Greg Hetrick on limiting public comment to three minutes. "They see us writing letters monthly, weekly, to the board members, detailing our stresses and grief about distance learning". "As trustees, we realize it is our responsibility to model the conduct that we expect of our students and staff, and it is our obligation to build confidence in district leadership; our comments failed you in both regards, and for this we offer our sincerest apology". The comments made were not in alignment with our vision and are definitely not what any of us stand for as leaders. I am responsible and accountable and I am truly sorry for what took place.

On Thursday, video of the Oakley Union school board members griping about parents was uploaded to YouTube by an anonymous user who expressed a desire "for our local public school to be run by better people". 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'.

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