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California school board members appear to mock parents in video: 'They want their babysitters back'

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The superintendent of a California school district board apologized for board members’ “truly inappropriate comments” after a group published a video that appeared to show board members complaining about parents who want teachers to return to classrooms, prompting an online petition for the board members to resign.

“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,” Greg Hetrick told Fox News in a statement. “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.”

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“I know that our students deserve better from us,” Hetrick continued. “I pledge to work collaboratively with stakeholders and community members to begin doing the important work that is needed to rebuild community trust in our district.”

According to video posted online, the board members appeared to believe their virutal meeting was private.

“Are we alone? B—–, if you’re gonna call me out, I’m gonna f— you up. Sorry, that’s just me,” board member Kim Beede appeared to say in regards to a parent posting about her.

“They forget there’s real people on the other side of those letters that they’re writing. … They don’t know what we know behind the scenes, and it’s really unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back,” board member Lisa Brizendine appeared to say.

“I totally hear that because my brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana. The clientele were parents with their kids in school,” board member Richie Masadas appeared to say.

The video circulated online after being posted by an account called “Reopen California Schools.”

In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, students wear masks as they work in a fourth-grade classroom, at Elk Ridge Elementary School in Buckley, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, students wear masks as they work in a fourth-grade classroom, at Elk Ridge Elementary School in Buckley, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Parents across the U.S. are lobbying for their children to return to learning from teachers in classrooms as some students face the possibility of completing an entire school year without entering a classroom in addition to the months they lost at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Meanwhile, the White House is facing scrutiny for shifting language around President Biden’s 100-day push for students to return to classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Biden on Tuesday night distanced himself from previous comments by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that the administration’s goal for its first 100 days was to have more than 50% of schools open at least one day per week. 

That goal was criticized as unambitious as it had essentially already been met by school districts partially opening on their own before Biden came into office. There was also speculation that the White House was trying to avoid upsetting teachers unions, which are a major force in the Democratic Party and have in many cases strongly opposed school reopening efforts.

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“What I’m talking about is I said opening the majority of schools in K-through-eighth grade because they’re the easiest to open, the most needed to be opened, in terms of the impact on children and families having to stay home,” Biden said.



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