School board accidentally broadcasts video of members insulting students’ parents
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An entire school board of trustees in California has resigned after a number of them were caught openly criticising parents on a video call that was accidentally streamed on YouTube.

In scenes not dissimilar to the viral Handforth Parish Council meeting, the Oakley Union Elementary School District in Contra Costa County, San Francisco Bay area announced that their board members, as well as District Superintendent, had stepped down just two days after the meeting was made available to the public.

The meeting has also been posted anonymously on YouTube.

Much of the meeting, which took place on 17 February, features the board members, including the president of the school board, Lisa Brizendine, speaking poorly of parents who had raised frustration about their children returning to in-person learning during the pandemic. ABC News reports that students in the area have been learning remotely for almost a year due to Covid.

NBC reporter Bigad Shaban documented some of the more alarming moments from the meeting including board members mocking parents, one who claims the parents are smoking marijuana and Superintendent Greg Hetrick proposing the introduction of a technology that will cut parents off calls after three minutes.

After one member of the group noticed that the meeting was being streamed to the public it was quickly changed to a blank screen that read ‘practice session in progress.’

After the video was made aware to the public a petition was launched, that has gained more than 7,000 signatures demanding that the board members resign as a result.

Ashley Staff, an Oakley Union parent, told ABC 7 News: “I thought the board members were also advocates for my child and had her best interests at heart. After [Wednesday’s] incident, it really has me thinking that they don’t.”

The mayor of Oakley, Sue Higgins, also called on the entire school board to resign on 19 February.

On Friday it was confirmed that board members Brizendine, Kim Beede, Richie Masadas and Erica Ippolito had submitted their resignations and in a joint statement with Hetrick said that they “deeply regret” the comments that they made about parents during the meeting.

Hetrick added, “This unfortunate situation will not discourage or detract me from working to build back the trust in our community and return our students safely back to school as soon as possible.”

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