School board member wants colleagues to attend required diversity class amid meeting controversy
BATON ROUGE – Amid calls for a school board member to resign following controversial comments and being seen shopping online during a recent school board meeting, colleagues are pushing forward with a plan to enroll members in a race education course.
School board member Michael Gaudet said he will submit a proposal at an upcoming board meeting requiring the course for board members along with a series of anti-racism efforts.
Gaudet said in a statement, the board has a responsibility of mentoring and leadership. It was “not met by Board Member Connie Bernard during the June 18, 2020 Regular Board meeting,” Gaudet said in a statement.
“ During that meeting, while having an important discussion regarding the renaming of Lee High Magnet School, Board Member Bernard was observed performing actions that convey disinterest and apathy. This discussion touched on many serious topics including the legacy of slavery, corruption, and the continued effects of institutional racism in our society and school system. With the interest of the school system at heart, many members of the community dedicated their time and made themselves vulnerable by sharing their feelings that night on these topics in a public way. Ms. Bernard’s disengagement at such an important juncture was insensitive and disrespectful. It will be impossible to mend our school system if we behave in this way.”
Gaudet said in a board filing Monday, the course will be taken as a group. He referenced "the Dialogue on Race educational course (or a similarly focused educational process) during the fall of 2020."
Bernard has faced calls for her to resign. Bernard said Monday she had no intention of resigning.
Separate board members held a Monday afternoon news conference to call for Bernard's resignation. Board member Dadrius Lanus said that if Bernard doesn't resign on her own by Tuesday afternoon, he will begin circulating a recall petition.
You can watch the news conference below.
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