BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Local political action group FuturePAC on Monday issued a statement calling for the resignation and replacement of East Baton Rouge School Board member Connie Bernard.
On Wednesday, June 10, amid discussions to change the name of Lee High School, Bernard said General Robert E. Lee had inherited a large plantation and was “tasked with a job of doing something with those people who lived in bondage on that plantation, the slaves, and he freed them.”
Those comments caused controversy, and on Thursday, June 18, Bernard was called out for doing what appeared to be online shopping during a school board meeting.
The FuturePAC Board of Directors on released the following statement from Board Chair Randy Cangelosi:
“On behalf of the FuturePAC Board, we are calling for East Baton Rouge School Board member Connie Bernard to resign and expressing our support for the people of District 8 seeking to recall Ms. Bernard should she refuse to do so. FuturePAC gives businesses a voice to support candidates who foster greater economic outcomes for the Capital Region. We want Baton Rouge to be a place that demonstrates its optimism and care for one another, including to those watching across the country, and that does not condone damaging language and behavior from an elected official charged with responsibility for our children.
Ms. Bernard’s recent insensitive comments and actions surrounding the process to rename Lee High School are not isolated incidences of poor judgement. Ms. Bernard’s repeated actions have demonstrated not only insensitivity and disrespect for the public and the students of the district, but also a pattern of poor judgment that does not befit her position on the board. There are many other strong leaders in District 8, and it’s time for another to represent the people of this school district.
EBR Schools is poised for a strong and hopeful transformation under an impressive new Superintendent. The opportunity that this new leadership presents for improving education outcomes in Baton Rouge is colossal; it should be the absolute focus of the School Board members and the District’s stakeholders.
It’s time to move on and replace Ms. Bernard with a new School Board member politically aligned with District 8 who will move Baton Rouge’s public schools forward in a positive direction.”
FuturePAC is affiliated with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and aims to financially support causes and candidates that promote local economic development, according to BRAC.