A California school board has resigned after comments bashing parents aired in a “hot mic” moment before a remote meeting.
Lisa Brizendine, president of the Oakley Union Elementary School District board near San Francisco, resigned Thursday, followed by trustees Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito and Richie Masadas on Friday, KTVU reported.
The resignations follow an outcry after trustees were heard before a Wednesday board meeting attacking parents for demanding that schools reopen, according to the station.
“They want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back,” Brizendine said, KGO reported.
Beede said a parent had attacked her on social media for attending a party while schools are shut down, The Mercury News reported.
“B—, if you call me out, I’m going to f— you up,” Beede said, according to the publication.
“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana,” Masadas said, The Mercury News reported. “The high clientele were the parents with their kids at school. When you have your kids at home, no more.”
Trustees were initially not aware their conversation had been broadcast over Zoom, angering parents viewing the board meeting, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“The school board forgot who it works for,” said Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools, according to the publication. “It works for the parents and the children.”
“To hear that, it was appalling,” said parent Jennifer Cardinale, KGO reported.
An online petition calling for the board to resign collected 7,000 signatures.
“My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry,” Brizendine said, noting that like other parents, trustees also have been under great stress, KTVU reported.
“I was frustrated and I apologize for that,” Beede said, KNTV reported. “I apologize (that) everybody had to hear that but again it was supposed to be a private conversation.”
In a joint statement, Beede, Masadas and Ippolito said they regret not providing a better example to students, KTVU reported.
The county Board of Education named two of its members to serve as interim trustees for the district until a new board can be chosen, The Mercury News reported.
The K-8 district in Contra Costa County has an enrollment of almost 5,200, according to the California Department of Education.
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