Homophobic school trustee humiliated after going to the toilet while on mortifying 150-person Zoom call

Emma Powys Maurice November 27, 2020
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(Facebook/For Hackensack's Future)

Controversial anti-LGBT+ school trustee Frances Cogelja flushed her career down the toilet after broadcasting her “bare bottom” to 150 people while on a Zoom call.

Cogelja, an elected trustee of the Hackensack Board of Education in New Jersey, made headlines earlier this year for saying she was “disgusted and appalled” by a new law requiring LGBT+ history to be taught in classrooms.

“I find it repugnant that someone’s sexual preferences have anything to do with their contributions or achievements in society,” she wrote in an email to a school official in February. “Everywhere I turn, this alternate lifestyle narrative is being shoved [down] our children’s throats. Where does it end?”

It ended with Cogelja relieving herself directly in front of her laptop camera, a scene she forced down the throats of nearly 150 people on a Zoom call – including students.

She’d taken care to mute her microphone but had neglected to turn off the video, which gave colleagues a full view of Cogelja sitting on the toilet.

Frances Cogelja
School trustee Frances Cogelja (Facebook/For Hackensack’s Future)

When she’d finished her business the New Jersey board’s vice president, Scott James-Vickery, told her tersely: “You need to go.”

“As far as I’m concerned, while our teachers are being professional you’re at home sitting on the toilet. We are moving on with this district doing what’s best,” he rebuked her in the tense meeting.

One student later said it was “the funniest thing I have ever witnessed in my 17 years of life”.

“Never in my life have I been so shocked,” the teen wrote online.

The shocking mishap led to renewed calls for the unpopular trustee to be fired, with the civic group For Hackensack’s Future launching a flush Fran fund to unseat the “bigot” once and for all.

In the wake of the earlier anti-LGBT+ controversy Cogelja stubbornly refused to resign, ignoring the school board members, local officials, hundreds of parents and 1,900 petitioners who called for her to do so.

“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.”

But after her unscheduled toilet break she finally stepped down in shame, and her long-awaited resignation was announced by the school board on Tuesday afternoon. The board has until 29 January to fill her seat.

Reached by phone, Cogelja declined to discuss her resignation with the New York Post. “I will not have a statement,” she said.

More: Frances Cogelja, Homophobia, New Jersey, Zoom

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