Frances Cogelja didn’t know her laptop camera was still on when she took her computer with her to the bathroom during the public comments section of a board meeting on Monday, the Daily Voice reports.
Almost 150 people, including a number of students, saw Cogelja use the restroom. However, no one commented on the incident after she was finished. Later, Vice President Scott James-Vickery reportedly told her, “You need to go. We’re here trying to get work done while you’re sitting on the toilet.”
Board of Education President Lancelot Powell said Cogelja couldn’t be removed because she was elected to her seat. “We can’t make her resign,” he reportedly said. “None of us can kick off a board member.”
The board then announced on Tuesday that the trustees have "received a letter of resignation from Mrs. Frances Cogelja, effective November 24, 2020.” State law says that the trustees must fill her role within 65 days, or by Jan. 29. 2021.
Cogelja faced backlash last year after she said that new state laws necessitating LGBTQ history to be taught in schools is “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 last year. “I believe conversations having to do with sexuality should be had at home between parents and their children.”
At that time, a number of board members and local officials asked for her resignation. Parents also sought to remove her, and a Change.org petition collected over 1,900 signatures, calling for her to step down.