Sarasota residents are calling on Bridget Ziegler of Moms for Liberty to resign from the school board.
Ziegler was caught in a scandal that cost her husband his position in the Florida Republican Party.
A video of a school board meeting shows residents roasting Ziegler, calling her a hypocrite.
A Florida school board member accused of hypocrisy is holding her ground despite calls for resignation, and local residents are none too pleased.
Bridget Ziegler, the wife to the former Florida Republican Party chairman Christian Ziegler, sits on the Sarasota County School Board.
She was also a cofounder of the "parental rights" group Moms for Liberty, which pushes schools and libraries to remove books it deems explicit — the majority of which are often written by, or are about, members of LGBTQ+ or other minority communities. (Leaders within the group have told Business Insider they oppose "all sexual orientations when discussing sexually explicit and graphic books," including heterosexual ones.)
So it was a little surprising — and a lot hypocritical, her opponents say — when news broke that Ziegler and her husband had a threesome with another woman. Christian Ziegler was then ousted from his high-level position within the state GOP after the other woman accused him of rape. The Sarasota Police Department said it didn't find evidence supporting that claim but asked the state attorney's office to charge him with illegally recording the encounter, the Associated Press reported.
Despite the scandal, Bridget Ziegler said in December that she would not resign. Demands for her departure resumed during a school board meeting on January 16, which saw hours of public comment from dozens of community members on the subject. Many of them called for Ziegler to step down.
"You couldn't even muster up an apology. Don't you think you owe us that, at least? An apology for your lies, for your political theater, for victimizing our children, for being a first-rate hypocrite, and for making Sarasota a national embarrassment in the media," said Jennifer Bowles, who added that she has children in the district.
"You could have helped these kids who are questioning who they are, but no," said Seneca Bristol, the president of a chapter of the Women's Voices of Southwest Florida. "You stopped caring for the students. I don't even think you ever did care. Bridget, resign today."
One student in the district told board members that students and teachers were equipped to "handle" conversations about gender and race.
"Taking topics such as racism, gender studies, and human rights out of the classroom does not take these issues out of the real world," the student said.
Some residents, however, offered their support to Ziegler. Larry Wilson, a Venice resident, lauded her as the "most conservative board member."
"I hope she does not give in. We need her. She is the only one who has put children first," Wilson said.
Correction: January 23, 2024 — An earlier version of this story incorrectly described law enforcement's response to the rape allegation against Christian Ziegler. The police declined to pursue charging him with rape after an investigation; it did not pursue charges that were later dropped.
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