As an organization devoted to amplifying the voices of those within our communities, we stand in agreement with the community activists and leaders in advocacy, business, education and government who are calling for School Board Member Connie Bernard to resign from her post.
We are acutely familiar with the inequities in access, quality, and excellence that exist across the Baton Rouge public education system. African-American and economically disadvantaged students deserve our community’s determination and dedicated action. They also deserve leadership that understands these inequities and is willing to do the hard work of correcting them. The recent behavior displayed by Board member Connie Bernard is not in line with these values nor in the best interest of our students or our community and we believe she should immediately resign. The incidents, that have now been reported worldwide, are not isolated, but represent a pattern of poor judgment, dishonesty, and a brazen lack of respect for all of the children that she purportedly represents.
The Urban League of Louisiana remains eager to spark collective action and is committed to working in partnership with the newly named EBR Superintendent Leslie Brown who has already stated her commitment to an “equity-focused approach” to budget, staffing and resources. We look forward to continue working closely with community and education stakeholders in Baton Rouge, and to continue to utilize the findings of our “Advancing Educational Equity in Baton Rouge Public Schools” report that was released last fall.
An ongoing commitment to dialogue and action on race within the Baton Rouge public education landscape is an important aspect in community healing and progress. The resignation of Connie Bernard is the necessary next step in moving forward for us all.
Yours in the Movement,
Judy Reese Morse
President and CEO
Director of Operations, Baton Rouge