A California school board is under fire after members made a series of comments mocking parents who are pressing for in-person classes, with one member claiming such parents just "want their babysitters back" and another suggesting parents want their kids out of the house so they can smoke weed.
The conversation occurred during a meeting members thought was private, but it was actually open to the public and the recording has gone viral.
What are the details?
In the recording of the Oakley Union Elementary School District board meeting on Wednesday, members spent time celebrating the prospect of modifying its system for allowing people to make public comments, suggesting folks be made to call in their remarks which would be cut off automatically at three minutes.
At one point, member Kim Beede expressed frustration over a complaint against her that was posted on social media, before she said, "You know what? Are we alone?" Then mocked whoever posted it, laughing, "B****, if you're gonna call me out, I'm gonna f*** you up. Sorry, that's just me."
Member Lisa Brizendine then weighed in, saying, "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," Brizendine continued, adding, "it's really unfortunate they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back."
A third member, Richie Masadas, agreed, saying his brother owned a delivery service for medical marijuana and "clientele were parents with their kids in school." Other members laughed as he mocked then that "when you have your kids in school...No more puff puff give."
At around the 7:25 mark, one member says, "Uh-oh...we have the meeting open to the public right now," and another responds with dismay, "Nu-uh" while a third echoes, "Great."
Oakley Union Elementary School Board Meeting www.youtube.com
In reaction to the video and public outcry, Oakley Union Superintendent Greg Hetrick told Fox News in a statement:
"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,. 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."
A petition has been launched calling on members to resign over the "very disrespectful" comments, saying that during the meeting, "parents were tuned in to learn if we will be sending our kids back to school soon and if not, why. There has been a lack of communication from the board and this was the first communication we heard."