A petition was immediately started calling for their resignation
An entire San Francisco Bay Area school board resigned after they were caught swearing and talking about parents wanting schools to reopen so they had babysitters again and could smoke weed all day. The virtual board meeting was being broadcast out to the public, and the (former) elected officials failed to notice they were on a live video stream.
All four members of Oakley Union Elementary School District Board stepped down after public outrage about the situation grew and more parents heard the conversations happening in advance of the meeting. The district’s superintendent, Greg Hetrick, announced the resignation in a letter Friday, the Mercury News reported.
“It’s easy to hide behind a screen, but when you’re face to face with people, it’s a whole different ball game,” board member Richie Masadas could be heard saying.
Kim Beede, another former board member, then defended herself against a parent who called her out on social media for going to a party during the pandemic after stating 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 the other trustees. “Bitch, if you call me out, I’m going to fuck you up.”
Oakley Union school district busted saying parents just want kids back in school so they can have their babysitters back and get high. https://t.co/xGkLYhxnCV #openschools #ReopenSchools https://t.co/g5eHtDJbLX
— Leya Leydiker (@leyaleydiker) February 18, 2021
“They forget that there’s real people behind those letters they are writing,” Beede said. “We are real community members. We have kids or have known kids who have gone to those schools; so, we have a vested interest in this process, and they don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, and it’s unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back.”
The #Oakley school board members under scrutiny for their comments have all resigned tonight. Here's the full letter sent out from the superintendent of the Oakley Union Elementary School District. @KTVU pic.twitter.com/3e6sucKmTZ
— Cristina Rendon (@CristinaKTVU) February 20, 2021
Masadas then suggested perhaps parents want their kids in school for another reason.
“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana. The high clientele were the parents with their kids at school. When you have your kids at home, no more (inaudible),” Masadas said, as other members laughed in the background.
The remarks were immediately met with calls for the board’s resignation — including from Oakley’s mayor. According to Huffington Post, a petition calling for the board to resign gained thousands of signatures in just a few days.
“We deeply regret the earlier comments that were made in the meeting of the Board of Education earlier this week,” a joint statement by now ex-board members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito, and Richie Masadas said. “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.”