A California school board is facing fierce backlash after members were caught on a hot mic mocking parents who want classrooms to reopen for in-person learning. The board thought that the meeting was private but was open to the public.
The incident garnered national attention and widespread condemnation.
Several of the board members allegedly believed that no parents were on the call and started making fun of them during the virtual meeting. "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". Her comment is followed by one from board President Lisa Brizendine, who says "it's really unfortunate [parents] want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back". Previously to this recording they began talking bad about parents of kindergartners, which prompted me to begin recording.
When the other members confirmed that it was private and no one could hear them speaking, Beede started imitating herself and threatening parents who had written letters about school re-openings. "And to hear that, it makes you understand why there's no preparation and communication because they're not taking us seriously". "If you're gonna call me out I'm gonna f- you up". "My remark was callous and uncalled for and for that I am truly sorry".
Masadas suggested parents wanted their free time for other reasons.
"My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana and he delivered to parents while their kids were at school", Masadas said. The high clientele were the parents with their kids at school.
"When you got your kids at home no more smoking out", Masadas is heard saying in the video.
Parents have created a petition at change.org that calls for the board members to resign immediately.
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.
"I only wish for our local public school to be run by better people", the person wrote.
"Parents in this area have been pretty vocal about the lack of communication and the lack of preparation to have our kids go back to school", Oakley Elementry School parent Rebecca Mackowiak said. 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'.