Some members of the Oakley Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees in California were caught unaware as they swore and belittled parents who recorded them during a virtual school board meeting Wednesday.
Parents who are calling for schools to be reopened posted the video of the board meeting at which its members were apparently unaware parents were watching virtually.
The video shows trustee Kim Beede first asking her fellow board members, “Are we alone?”
Beede then said describing her reaction to one parent, “Bitch, if you’re going to call me out, I’m going to f**k you up!”
The video also shows board member Richie Masadas suggesting parents want schools to reopen so they can get back to smoking marijuana during the day.
He said his brother had a medical marijuana service and “the clientele were parents with their kids in school.”
“When you got your kids at home no more smoking out,” Masadas is heard saying in the video.
A third board member, Lisa Brizendine, is heard saying parents “don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.”
“It’s really unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back.”
Kendra Romero posted the video to YouTube, where she wrote:
When the board isn’t aware that they are broadcasting to the public. Previously to this recording they began talking bad about parents of kindergartners, which prompted me to begin recording. This behavior is disgusting. As parents we should not tolerate for our representatives to behave in this manner. Oakley needs a new school board that will stand up for parents and their children.
BREAKING: Oakley, CA school board members caught on tape mocking parents who desperately need their kids back in the classroom.
“Are we alone?” one says. “Bitch, if you’re going to call me out, I’m going to f*** you up!” Another adds, “They want their babysitters back.”
— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) February 18, 2021
According to East County Today, on Thursday the superintendent of the Oakley school district issued a statement after the video was released and the board members’ comments about parents and reopening schools were made public.
Greg Hetrick said the board members’ comments were “unfortunate” and “truly inappropriate” and that students “deserve better”:
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. We all take pride in the Vision of the Oakley Union Elementary School District in that we are “A diverse learning community committed to educating and empowering today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders in a safe and inclusive environment.”
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. 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 a petition at change.org that calls for the board members to resign immediately.