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California school board members caught disparaging parents on accidental Zoom broadcast

Photo courtesy of MGN

Members of the Oakley Union Elementary School District board of trustees used profanity to refer to parents. The president has stepped down.

Posted: Feb 19, 2021 4:26 PM

NBC-- The head of a northern California school board has resigned her position after she and several of her fellow trustees were caught making disparaging remarks about district parents during a Zoom meeting that was accidentally broadcast to the public.

"They want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back," President Lisa Brizendine said during the Wednesday Zoom meeting of the Oakley Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees, a recording of which was posted to Twitter by NBC News Bay Area reporter Bigad Shabad.

"Are we alone," trustee Kim Beede asked before launching into a tirade: "B----, if you're going to call me out, I'm going to f--- you up."

"Sorry, that's just me!" Beede said as other board members chuckled.

"My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana and his clientele were parents with their kids at school," trustee Richie Masadas said.

Superintendent Greg Hetrick touted a new technology in a fellow district that curtailed public comments at exactly three minutes' time, after which others chimed in that "we need that" and "good idea."

"Uh-oh," said Beede, when she realized their meeting was open to the public. "We have the meeting open to the public right now."

"Nuh-uh," Brezendine said.

The meeting was then switched to private.

Brezendine resigned her position late Thursday and Hetrick apologized for his statement, according to NBC News Bay Area.

"Last night at the Oakley Union Elementary School District Regular Board Meeting there were unfortunate and truly inappropriate comments made that were heard by many," Hetrick said in the statement cited by the NBC affiliate. "These comments are not typical and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district."

He continued: "The comments made were not in alignment with our Vision and are definitely not what any of us stand for as leaders. I know that we lost trust with the community. I will not make excuses for what happened or why it happened. I am the superintendent. I am responsible and accountable and I am truly sorry for what took place. ... I know that our students deserve better from us."

Beede, Masadas and Brezendine did not immediately respond to NBC News' requests for comment on Friday.

The Oakley Union school is located east of San Francisco and serves around 5,000 students.

In a January 29 letter to district families, Hetrick said to prepare for a continuation of "full remote instruction" for the next few weeks before two more board meetings — Wednesday's as well as another on March 10 for a board discussion "on a plan for return from break."

A petition calling for the resignation of the trustees had gained over 5,000 signatories by Friday afternoon.

"A recall would cost the district money that should be going to the kids. I am asking that the board members to resign immediately due to their egregious behavior," the petition read. "They should no longer represent the parents, teachers, and children in this school district."

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