EBR school board president calls for Connie Bernard's resignation
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge School Board President Michael Gaudet announced Thursday that he is calling on Connie Bernard to resign from the board.
The announcement comes more than a week after Gaudet renounced Bernard's actions during a school board discussion regarding the renaming of Lee High. Bernard was seen online shopping during the meeting and made controversial statements regarding the school's original namesake, Robert E. Lee.
Video from the board meeting went viral and led to widespread demands for her exit from the board.
You can read Gaudet's full statement below.
"On June 22, 2020 I issued a statement that voiced my disapproval of Mrs. Bernard’s actions during the recent School Board meeting but stopped short of calling for her to resign. Information has now come to light which shows her public statement on the issue was, in my opinion, misleading. I believe this erodes her ability to retain the confidence of the public that we serve. We work diligently to improve public education in East Baton Rouge and without public confidence, our job is more difficult. Most critically the children, with whose education we are entrusted, will suffer the greatest in the long run. I now respectfully ask Mrs. Bernard to resign her office as a member of the EBR School Board.
I do not make this request lightly. I know that Mrs. Bernard takes her responsibilities to represent all children seriously. She is an elected official and her voters need a voice.
I will take no position on the current effort to recall Mrs. Bernard. I respect the wisdom and authority of the voters in her district to make that decision. It is their decision to make and theirs alone.
As members of the EBR School Board we are called first to remember what we were elected to accomplish. We must focus on educational issues impacting our children now. Reopening schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many low performing schools, on-boarding a new Superintendent, unifying our community, budget inequities and funding shortages are just a few of the challenges facing us. These should be our focus, now and in the future. I am hopeful that the EBR School Board, helped by the leadership of our new Superintendent, will put differences aside and work together to improve the opportunities for all our children."
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