There has been ample science to show that as long as the proper precautions are taken, schools can reopen safely and children can return to in-person learning. Despite that, teacher unions have continued to prolong school closures by claiming there’s “not enough resources,” leading parents to ask whether schools are following the science or funding.
During a virtual board meeting about reopening schools, Oakley Union Elementary School District teachers made disparaging comments about parents that they didn’t realize was being broadcast to the public. They used profanity and made jokes about parents just wanting a babysitter or to smoke pot in their home, grabbing national attention and widespread condemnation.
At one point during the meeting, President Lisa Brizendine stated, “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.”
The remarks were met with a call for the board’s resignation, as well as a petition that quickly garnered thousands of signatures. The district’s superintendent, Greg Hetrick, announced Thursday that President Brizendine, along with three other members, have resigned. “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,” he said.
In a joint statement by ex-board members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito, and Richie Masadas, they offered their “sincerest apology” for failing to build confidence in district leadership and model the conduct that they expect of students and staff. Brizendine also apologized, saying her remarks were “callous” and “uncalled for.” The Contra Costa County education Board will assign interim members of the board, until a new one can be appointed or elected.
Many parents talked about their frustrations over the call, such as local parent Ashley Stalf. “We meet regularly with the board as parents and we’re constantly sending in letters and emails and telling them our griefs and our strife’s over distance learning. For them to say we are doing nothing and sitting home and smoking pot is far from the truth,” she explained. Stalf also went on to add that if they feel so freely to talk on a mic, then what’s behind said behind closed doors?
Other parents also shared stories of being moved to tears from working full time while trying to navigate younger children through online learning.
Thomas Will, an Oakley resident, also shared his concerns about the approach to in-person learning. ”I think we all need to take this step back and realize how shocking it is that there’s been no real progress forward to get back to in-person learning because we see it around. Private schools have been back. My daughter goes to a private preschool. She’s been in in-person learning,” he said.
He talked about things like “virtual recess” where an adult oversees their activity and other virtual schooling tools, noting how public schools should’ve found a way to make in-person learning work during the coronavirus pandemic by now. He said the video reflects that school boards don’t have the interest of kids at heart and don’t want the feedback from parents.
Parents don’t want babysitters, they want an education for their kid that their tax dollars are paying for. Kids are being robbed of their education by left-leaning unions that don’t want to go back to work and expect parents to give up their livelihood for the career choice of being a teacher.