School board resigns after swearing and joking about parents in virtual meeting – The Guardian

An entire San Francisco Bay Area school board has resigned, days after its members were heard making disparaging comments about parents at a virtual board meeting they did not realize was being broadcast to the public.

On Wednesday, before a meeting of the Oakley Union elementary school district board officially began, unaware the public could see and hear them, the board members used profanity and made jokes about parents.

One board member, Kim Beede, defended herself against a parent who chided her on social media for going to a party during the coronavirus pandemic, after declaring it wasn’t safe to return to school.

“I wasn’t doing anything bad – I honestly don’t care about that part – but are we alone?” she asked. “Bitch, if you call me out, I’m going to fuck you up.”

“Sorry, that’s just me,” Beede added.

After some laughter, the board president, Lisa Brizendine, commiserated about growing criticism over closed schools, suggesting parents really want schools to reopen so they get their babysitters back.

Richie Masadas suggested parents wanted their free time for other reasons.

“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana,” he said, as others chuckled. “The high clientele were the parents with their kids at school. When you have your kids at home, no more.”

The remarks met with swift and widespread condemnation, calls for resignations – including from the mayor of Oakley – and coast-to-coast news coverage. A petition calling for the board to resign attracted thousands of signatures.

The district superintendent, Greg Hetrick, announced the resignations of Beede, Masadas and Erica Ippolito on Friday and said Contra Costa county education board members would step in on an interim basis. Brizendine resigned on Thursday.

“We deeply regret the earlier comments that were made in the meeting of the board of education earlier this week,” Beede, Massadas and Ippolito said in a statement.

“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.”

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