Parents are calling for members of the Oakley Union Elementary School District (OUESD) Board to resign following a series of disparaging remarks trustees made during a brief hot mic exchange Wednesday afternoon.
Believing the regularly scheduled board meeting had not yet gone live, district board members can be heard on video criticizing parents and saying they just want their kids back in school so they can stop being babysitters and sit around smoking pot.
“My brother had a delivery service for medical marijuana, and the clientele were parents with their kids in school,” said Trustee Richie Masadas. “When you’ve got your kids at home, there are no more Fridays.”
Board member Kim Beede talked about what her face-to-face reaction would be to critical parents who commented online about the school’s reopening.
“Are we alone?” she asked board members before continuing. “(I would say,) B--- if you are going to call me out I am going to F--- you up. Sorry, that’s just me.”
Board members can be heard laughing at the remark in the background.
Approximately two minutes into the conversation, the trustees became aware they were being recorded publicly, at which point, the screen went dark.
Public reaction to the video was swift.
“This is how elected school board members behave at work?” said Dita Wilson in an online Press post. “Unbelievably unprofessional. You’d be fired immediately from your non-government job. Please resign. Parents and students have been through enough already!”
Other comments also supported the removal of the board.
“That entire board should resign for the good of the school district. They have lost all trust with the public,” said Dave Cruise.
OUESD Superintendent Greg Hetrick issued a statement Thursday morning addressing the incident.
“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,” he wrote. “These comments are not typical, and more importantly they are not what the community should expect from our school district … 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.”
But for many, the superintendent’s comments fell short.
“This apology reeks of oops you caught how we really feel,” wrote Margaret O’Brian in an online post.
A change.org petition calling for the board to resign or be recalled, had garnered 2,611 as of Thursday afternoon, with a goal of reaching 5,000.
School board members did not respond to The Press for comment.
Check back for updates.