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District 8 school board member Connie Bernard listens to comments during a meeting of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, Thursday, June 18, 2020, at the Professional Development Center in Baton Rouge, La.

East Baton Rouge School Board member Connie Bernard, who was pressured by four other members to leave her post no later than Tuesday, said she would not resign in a statement Monday afternoon.

Bernard received national attention after a video went viral of a local activist calling her out for online shopping during a discussing about renaming Lee High School, named after Robert E. Lee. 

Board members Dawn Collins, Tramelle Howard, Dadrius Lanus and Evelyn Ware-Jackson held a press conference Monday at 4 p.m. in front of the School Board Office to formally call for Bernard to resign from her District 8 seat on the board.

Shortly after, Bernard made the announcement that she would stay on and serve the EBR school board despite her colleague's demands.

"I regret that I have become a distraction to the important work we have to do to educate our children," Bernard said. "After prayerful consideration and consultation with my family and friends, I will continue to serve all students as elected by my district three times."

It was during a Thursday school board meeting that leaders voted unanimously to come up with an alternative name for the 61-year-old high school. 

Before the meeting, in a June 10th interview with WVLA-33, Bernard said parents and students uncomfortable with the name don't understand the history behind it. 

“I would hope that they would learn a little bit more about General Lee, because General Lee inherited a large plantation and he was tasked with the job of doing something with those people who lived in bondage to that plantation, the slaves, and he freed them,” Bernard said.

She would later apologize for the comments, but the community called for her resignation through an online petition and across social media before Bernard's colleagues would meet today to reiterate their desire for her to leave the school board.

Read the full story here.


Contact Katelyn Umholtz at kumholtz@theadvocate.com.