A Hackensack School Board member in New Jersey who made national headlines last year by opposing an LGBTQ curriculum has resigned after an embarrassing incident during a Zoom meeting.
Frances Cogelja didn’t realize she had left her laptop camera on when she took it with her while going to the bathroom during the public comments section of a board meeting Monday night while board members, students, and families watched in horror.
Nearly 150 participants, including board members, students, and families apparently watched in horror as Cogelja relieved herself on camera, the Hackensack Daily Voice reports.
While no one immediately said anything when she returned from her trip to the toilet, Vice President Scott James-Vickery reportedly told Cogelja after the meeting: “You need to go. We’re here trying to get work done while you’re sitting on the toilet.”
Early Tuesday afternoon, the board announced that the trustees “have received a letter of resignation from Mrs. Frances Cogelja, effective November 24, 2020.”
Cogelja made headlines last year when she called new state laws that require teaching about LGBTQ history “repugnant.”
“I have every right as a parent to not have my child participate in something that I do not think is suitable as part of a public school curriculum,” she said at the time. “I believe conversations having to do with sexuality should be had at home between parents and their children.”
The civic group For Hackensack’s Future called Cogelja a bigot, posting early Tuesday that she also “has threatened members of the public, who she said she doesn’t respect. She abstained on a symbolic vote committing the district to anti-racism. She voted to extend her own term by eight months.”
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