All members of a northern California school board have resigned after the leaders were caught making disparaging remarks about district parents during a Zoom meeting that was accidentally broadcast to the public, the superintendent said.
“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 Oakley Union school district is located east of San Francisco and serves around 5,000 students.
“Are we alone,” trustee Kim Beede asked before launching into a tirade: “B—-, if you’re going to call me out, I’m going to f— you up.”
“Sorry, that’s just me!” Beede said as other board members chuckled.
“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana and his clientele were parents with their kids at school,” trustee Richie Masadas said.
Superintendent Greg Hetrick touted a new technology in a fellow district that curtailed public comments at exactly three minutes’ time, after which others chimed in that “we need that” and “good idea.”
“Uh-oh,” said Beede, when she realized their meeting was open to the public. “We have the meeting open to the public right now.”
“Nuh-uh,” Brezendine said.
The meeting was then switched to private.
Brezendine, who resigned her position late Thursday, apologized for her statements.
“We were having a private conversation because we were really struggling at that moment with all the Board comments coming in because we want what’s best for the kids so badly,” she said.
Hetrick also issued an apology.
“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,” Hetrick said in the statement cited by the NBC News Bay Area. “These comments are not typical and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district.”
He continued: “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 know that our students deserve better from us.”
The school board resignations came after a petition calling for the ouster of the trustees gained over nearly 7,000 signatures as of Saturday.
“A recall would cost the district money that should be going to the kids. I am asking that the board members to resign immediately due to their egregious behavior,” the petition read. “They should no longer represent the parents, teachers, and children in this school district.”
Beede, Masadas and Erica Ippolito said in a statement Friday that they “deeply regret the comments that were made in the meeting” and that their resignations “will allow the District to move forward.”
All of their names were scrubbed from the district website, which listed all of the seats as vacant on Saturday.
Until a new Oakley Union Elementary School District board is seated, the county board of education will serve as interim board members, according to Hetrick.