Connie Bernard to appear in court in July for alleged 2018 choking incident

    East Baton Rouge Parish school board member Connie Bernard, who says she won’t resign over comments made regarding Robert E. Lee at a recent board meeting, will be called to court July 27 for a status conference relating to a 2018 incident in which she allegedly choked a student at a private party near her home.

    Judge Ronald Johnson will preside over next month’s status conference, set to take place downtown in the 19th Judicial District Courthouse, according to documents filed Monday with the clerk of court’s office.

    The scheduling of the court event comes nearly two years after a profanity-filled viral video surfaced of Bernard confronting a young partygoer at a Lakeside home in late summer 2018. In the video, she appears to place her hands on the neck of a young man, which some viewers have described as choking.

    After the incident, Bernard pleaded not guilty to one charge of simple battery and a trespassing charge from her entering the home and refusing to leave, both of which are misdemeanors.

    Bernard has been under intense national media scrutiny since last week, for a separate incident where she was criticized by local activist Gary Chambers for allegedly shopping online amid discussion of the history of Robert E. Lee during the public comments portion regarding the renaming of Lee High School. (Bernard has denied the allegation.)

    Yet despite multiple local officials—including Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and four of her fellow school board members—calling for her immediate resignation, Bernard issued a statement Monday evening, saying: “I regret that I have become a distraction to the important work we have to do to educate our children. After prayerful consideration and consultation with my family and friends, I will continue to serve all students as elected by my district three times.”

    Bernard’s upcoming status conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. 

    View Comments