Home U.S California school board president resigns after caught mocking parents supporting school reopenings

California school board president resigns after caught mocking parents supporting school reopenings

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A California school board member has resigned after she appeared to make comments during a public video meeting mocking parents calling to reopen schools.

Oakley Union Elementary School District Superintendent Greg Hetrick confirmed former trustee board President Lisa Brizendine’s resignation to Fox News. 

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Hetrick issued an apology on Thursday for board members’ “truly inappropriate comments” made during a virtual meeting on Wednesday after a group published a video of the meeting that appeared to show board members complaining about parents who want teachers to return to classrooms.

“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,” Hetrick told Fox News in a statement.

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He continued: “I have been and continue to be committed to working together for the betterment of the Oakley Union Elementary School District students, staff and entire school community.”

Hetrick did not have any further comment on Brizendine’s resignation. 

The recorded meeting from Wednesday night was posted on social media and shows board members who appeared to believe the meeting was private. Brizendine appeared to mock parents who “want their babysitters back.”

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“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,” she said. Other board members piled on, appearing to dismiss parents’ concerns.

The video circulated online after being posted by an account called “Reopen California Schools,” prompting an online petition for the board members to resign.

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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.

Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.

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