Entire School Board Resigns After Members Are Caught Mocking Parents on Livestream
A member of the board in charge of elementary and middle schools in Oakley said on Wednesday afternoon when she found out that her online conversations with other members had been broadcast to the public.
Members spent two minutes with parents, suggesting they wanted teachers back at school so they could “get their kids back” and go back to smoking marijuana.
Throughout, parents who were logged in for the regular two-monthly board meeting continued to listen. The reaction to the board members’ comments was fast and furious – another reminder Anger and pain Many parents are feeling the pull of school completion in the spring.
Thousands of people Signed an online petition Seeking the resignation of all four board members, who were heard by parents laughing and pinching. Oakley Mayor Sue Higgins said that although he had no jurisdiction over the Oakley Union Elementary School District, he asked the board members to resign, According to local news site East County Today.
On Friday, District Superintendent, Greg D. Hetrick announced that all four members had resigned from the Board of Trustees, including Chairman, Lisa Brizendine. A fifth member stepped down from the board in January, so the resignations went off the board entirely without trustees.
The three members, Kim Beede, Richie Massadas and Erica Ipolito, said in a statement that they “deeply regret the comments” and were resigning “to help facilitate the healing process”.
“As trustees, we feel that it is the responsibility of our conduct to expect our students and staff, and it is our responsibility to instill confidence in the district leadership,” he said in the statement, Letter Announces resignation from Mr. Hetrick.
Members said, “Our comment failed you in both cases, and we sincerely apologize for this.”
Members did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Saturday. The president of the Contra Costa County Education Office may appoint new members until newly elected or appointed, according to a county law that was cited in Mr. Hetrick’s letter.
Oakley in the district has more than 470 employees and approximately 5,000 students in 9 elementary and middle schools. City of about 42,000 people 40 miles north-east of Oakland.
Students in the district have been learning remotely since last March, and like other parts of the country, parents are eager to get information about their schools’ plans. Prior to the meeting, he had presented the letter to the board for more transparency, expressing his disappointment and concern that his children were suffering as a result of distance education.
On Wednesday, the trustees Start airing each other Regarding the negative response, they said they were meeting and started making fun.
Ms. Beede complained about a woman who had fallen out with him on social media and suggested him to physically go after the critic.
“Sorry, it’s just for me,” Ms. Beede said with a laugh.
“They want it because they want their children back,” Ms. Brizendine said.
“I totally listen to this” said Richie Massadas, who described how his brother delivered a delivery service for medical marijuana.
Customers were “parents with their children at school,” he said, as did board members laughing.
Moments later, Ms. Beede informs the board members that they already lived in front of the public.
“We have a meeting open to the public right now,” said Ms. Bead.
“Nu-uh” said Ms. Nuzendine.
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“Great,” another member said as the screen went dark and was replaced with the words “practice session in progress”.
As of Saturday afternoon, a petition was signed by more than 6,600 people who threatened to recall the trustees if they did not resign.
“If we will send our children back to school soon and if not, why,” the parents were prepared to find out. The petition states. “There has been a lack of communication from the board and this was the first communication we heard.”
For the parents, who had been transplanting the board for more information about the district’s plans for months, the outrage was “a camel’s back-breaking straw,” Angela Palacio, who has four children, including one in the first grade. Daughter involved struggled with distance education.
42-year-old Ms. Palacio said, “It made my mind worse.” “I was like, what, are you kidding me?” This showed a lack of respect for our school board as well as the people in our community. “
Ms Palacio, who wrote to the board, said that her husband, who works in steelmaking, had to take two months of family leave to help his daughter, 7, navigate the work online.
A person who signed the petition said that it makes sense that the board was under pressure.
“But we expect that professionalism and solutions will be discussed during the closed session,” the signer said. “No, what we saw.”
Mr Hetrick, who was present during the meeting, but did not comment, described the incident as an “unfortunate situation”.
Announcing his resignation, he said in the letter, “I am committed to student learning and bringing our students back to school.” “This unfortunate situation will not discourage or discourage me from working to build trust in our community and get our students back to school as soon as possible.”