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Protesters in Sarasota Call for Resignation of GOP Board Member Over Sex Scandal 

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Sarasota County of Florida is experiencing pockets of protests, thanks to school board member Bridget Ziegler.

Bridget and Christian Ziegler with another woman
Source: Bridget Ziegler/X

The protests are a follow-up of recent revelations about Ziegler’s private life. It turns out that a woman is prosecuting a case of assault against Ziegler’s husband. Apparently, the Zieglers and the complainant were involved in a three-way sexual relationship. 

On Tuesday, the Sarasota County School Board had its last meeting for the year. However, protesters were seen outside the district building hours before commencement, calling for Ziegler’s resignation. 

Naturally, anyone would expect Ziegler’s sexual preferences to be left out of School Board discussions. However, Mrs Ziegler has made the sexual orientation and gender leanings of students and instructors her business.

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ALSO READ: LGBTQ+ Students Speak Out After School Board Returned a Grant They Won for Their School

Before her sex scandal went public, the LGBTQ+ community fought a lost war under Ziegler’s leadership. So, as soon as her moral lapse went public, critics of her “Don’t Say Gay” legislation were out for the jugular. 

Of course, the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation is not Ziegler’s brainchild. Instead, it is several anti-queer bills that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in 2022. These bills are part of the Parental Rights in Education Act, a major jab against LGBTQ+ rights in Florida.

Interestingly, Ziegler is a vocal advocate of these laws. It’s so bad that queer students and instructors have been outrightly tight-fisted in high schools across Florida. 

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One of the many restrictions of the “Don’t Say Gay” laws is that minors no longer have access to gender transitioning or affirming treatments. Also, instructors are to teach students reproductive biology with the binary gender framework.

So, in effect, humans can only be addressed by their birth-assigned gender, a subject of biological function. 

To some extent, this explains the backlash trailing Ziegler’s non-binary sexual relationship. Many critics are calling for her resignation because of what they call “moral hypocrisy.”

POLL — Should Public Schools Include Critical Race Theory and Sex Education in Their Curriculum? 

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Unfortunately for Ziegler’s critics, her Sarasota School Board appointment is from the state governor’s office. By implication, the School Board can only suggest that she resign but cannot sack her from the seat. 

Interestingly, the call for Ziegler’s resignation is collective, such that if it were a matter of vote, she would already be out of office. However, the board’s legal counsel, Patrick Duggan, has clarified that voting to remove a board member is merely ceremonial.

In reality, the best other board members and members of the public can do is to recommend that the governor remove an erring appointee. 

During the Sarasota School Board meeting on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, the usually vocal Ziegler was quiet throughout. She sat through almost three hours of board members and parents making speeches to ask for her resignation. Ziegler eventually left the meeting without any active contribution to the ongoing deliberations.

ALSO READ: Gender Identity in Schools: Catholic School Contests Law Forcing the Hire of LGBTQ+ Teachers

By all indications, it doesn’t seem that board member Ziegler would resign from office. Her body language during the Tuesday meeting was an indifferent one. Likewise, there are calls in GOP circles for Christian Ziegler, the husband, to resign as Florida’s Republican chairman. No one can tell how the situation will unfold. 

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