Stand for Children Louisiana, a prominent educational group in the state, is asking Connie Bernard to step down from her seat on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board because of her behavior during a profanity-filled confrontation she had Aug. 10 with several young people having a party down the street from her home that was caught on video.
Stand for Children announced its stance in a statement Thursday from its executive director, Carrie Griffin Monica, who said Bernard's behavior is not the “type of example and behavior we should set for our children, community, and district.”
District Attorney Hillar Moore said Tuesday he is looking into a confrontation among an East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member and young …
The group is the first to make a public call for Bernard to resign. Stand for Children is a prominent supporter of charter schools and has in the past contributed thousands of dollars to candidates it supports in local School Board races in Louisiana, including those in Baton Rouge, as well as races for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“Elected officials, particularly those responsible for the education and well-being of our children, must be held to the highest possible standard,” Monica said. “Connie Bernard’s profanity and behavior were not only extremely inappropriate, but profoundly unacceptable for someone elected to represent and make decisions on behalf of students and families.”
“If a teacher were to behave as Bernard did, the response would be swift and severe," Monica added.
She urged other School Board members and candidates in the Nov. 6 School Board elections to also urge Bernard to resign. Bernard will not be on the ballot. In mid-July, she was re-elected to a third term after no challengers emerged to run against her.
Stand for Children Louisiana has come out against Bernard before. In 2014, the group gave Bernard’s opponent Chris Bailey $6,000 in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Bernard, who was first elected to the parish School Board in 2010.
Messages left Thursday for Bernard were not returned.
District Attorney Hillar Moore has said he is looking into the confrontation to determine whether Bernard should be prosecuted.
Sheriff’s deputies who went to a home on High Lake Drive in south Baton Rouge late Friday issued a misdemeanor summons to Bernard, accusing her of entering and remaining after being forbidden.
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Bernard apologized Monday for her language, which included using a single obscenity 8 times in a 22-second stretch but made clear she has no plans to step down from her School Board seat.
The youth had called 911 after Bernard entered the home in the Lakeside subdivision and confronted partygoers. A video showed her grasping one young man at the base of his neck, but deputies did not cite her for committing any act of violence.
An East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member landed in hot water Friday after a confrontation involving a party at a neighbor's home.