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Zooming From the Bathroom, in Hindsight, Was a Mistake

School board member resigns after leaving her laptop camera on
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2020 6:05 PM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2020 1:00 AM CST
School Official Learns Important Zoom Lesson
Stock photo.   (Getty/vadimguzhva)

Frances Cogelja returned from a bathroom break and set her laptop down, fully rejoining the public comments portion of Monday's meeting of the Hackensack School Board. No one said anything to Cogelja, a board member, at first. Then the New Jersey board's vice president told her: "You need to go. We’re here trying to get work done while you're sitting on the toilet." She'd left the camera on her laptop on while she was in the bathroom. Nearly 150 people, including students, were tuned in as Cogelja answered nature's call, reports. She resigned the next day.

Cogelja, who didn't comment about the bathroom broadcast, had come close to losing her office last year, after she pronounced a new state requirement that schools teach LGBTQ history “repugnant." Top Bergen County officials and other school board members called for her to quit, per the Daily Voice, and hundreds of parents went to meetings to demand her resignation. More than 1,900 people signed a petition calling for her removal. "It was time to move on," the school board president said Tuesday. "We had a long history of issues," with Cogelja, he said. "After last night, all I can say is we wish her the best." (Jeffrey Toobin also thought his camera was turned off.)

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