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A whole school board in northern California resigned after a video of them during a meeting leaked showing them mocking parents for wanting schools to reopen.
The president and three other members of the Oakley Union Elementary School Board of Trustees resigned Friday after a video showed them attacking parents during a Zoom meeting which they didn’t know was open to the public.
The district’s superintendent Greg Hetrick issued an apology to the community Thursday for the board members’ “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,” Hetrick told Fox News. “I know that we lost trust with the community. I will not make excuses for what happened or why it happened.”
“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 added.
President of the school board Lisa Brizendine, who had accused parents of “wanting their babysitters back”, also issued an apology after announcing her resignation:
“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,” she said.
“I suffer with many of the same things that parents are going through from mental health issues to regression. My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry.”
The three other board members, Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito, and Richie Masadas also issued a joint-apology.
“We deeply regret the earlier comments that were made in the meeting of the Board of Education earlier this week,” the statement reads.
“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 president of the Contra Costa County Board of Education will likely appoint interim board members until new ones are elected or appointed, according to reports.
Parents like Thomas Will, however, remain skeptical of the apologies, and claims that video shows that teachers aren’t interested in reopening schools anytime soon.
“Why isn’t the public school going back? Well, I think that video shows why. Not because we can’t, but because we had a school board that doesn’t have the interest of kids at their heart and they don’t want the feedback from parents,” he said.
Read the superintendent’s apology:
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