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Bernard says she wasn't shopping during board meeting, her browser history may say otherwise

4 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago Tuesday, June 30 2020 Jun 30, 2020 June 30, 2020 6:35 AM June 30, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - After one of the EBR School board member's most controversial figures was accused of secretly engaging in online shopping during an important meeting about race and equality, the entire nation tuned into the incident.

Earlier this month, after Connie Bernard came under fire, even being nationally ridiculed on Twitter as multiple sources called for her dismissal, for appearing to shop during a board meeting concerning the renaming of Lee High School, she swiftly denied the accusations. Bernard said she wasn't shopping but that a pop-up ad was on her laptop, making it appear as though she was shopping. 

But sources say a public records request reveals that Bernard's browser history shows she spent many minutes that night on a clothing store's website.

According to The Advocate, the online consignment and thrift store website named thredUP shows up several times during Bernard’s browser history on her public laptop. That's consistent pictures from that night apparently showing Bernard shopping for dresses. 

To help make sense of the browser history, the school system’s IT Department cross-tabulated that record with what was happening during that meeting, which lasted almost eight hours.

Bernard first goes to the site a little before 8:30 p.m for a period of time. She’s back on the site at 9:10 p.m., just before the Lee High renaming starts. The thredUP url continues to show up in her browser for 35 more minutes, during a period when several board members are discussing the issue, but before public comment begins.

At one point, the history shows Bernard adding an item to her shopping cart. Besides that action, it's unclear from the browser history how active she is on the site.

Four of her fellow school board members and others in the Baton Rouge community have called for her resignation since that board meeting, and a recall petition was filed last week, seeking to remove her from her position.

Bernard is unwilling to leave and has said she plans to serve a third term on the board, which ends Dec. 31, 2022.

This is not the first time Bernard's behavior has caused controversy. She previously served as the school board's vice president and stepped down in 2018 after  she was caught on video violently confronting teenagers having a party at a neighbor's home.

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