School board member pleads not guilty after profanity-laced tirade aimed at teens caught on video
BATON ROUGE - An East Baton Rouge School Board member has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an incident last year in which she was recorded berating a group of high school students throwing a house party.
According to the court documents, Connie Bernard's attorney entered the plea on her behalf this week. The allegations include intruding inside her neighbor's home and simple assault.
The charges are tied to a video in which Bernard was seen getting into an argument with a group of teens at a house in the Oak Hills neighborhood. Bernard recorded herself entering the home uninvited and yelling at the group of high schoolers. When one of the teens grabbed her phone, she began shouting profanity and seemingly grabbed one of them by the throat.
Once video of the encounter spread online, numerous people called for charges to be pressed and Bernard to resign from the school board. Bernard eventually stepped down as the school board vice president, citing her husband's cancer diagnosis. She remained on the school board in some capacity despite the controversy.
The woman whose home she entered said Bernard stepped way over the line when she confronted the group of teens.
"If she actually had concerns that were legitimate, she should have called police or done what a normal citizen would have done," Campbell said. "More than that, her aggressive behavior and complete use of foul language, in front of these children... She doesn't just have any citizenship position, she has a school board position and her behavior in front of school children was absolutely appalling."
A status conference is scheduled for Bernard on May 23.