John Brown Reelected OPSB President After Outcry Over Contender's Views On LGBTQ Rights

Jan 18, 2019

The Orleans Parish School Board reelected John Brown, Sr. as its next board president Thursday night. Brown's reelection comes after controversy over another contender’s views on LGBTQ rights.

Before last week, the top contender for school board president was Leslie Ellison. But then, education blogger and activist Peter Cook posted a 2012 video showing Ellison testifying at the state capital in support of a bill that would have allowed charter schools to exclude LGBTQ students.

Mariah Moore was one of many at the school board meeting who spoke out against Ellison before the vote.


"It’s very important that children going through these schools know that they’re protected and are loved and included," she told the board.


A handful of speakers spoke in favor of Ellison, including Greg Broussard.


"She's dedicated and concerned about our children's education and whole being, the measure, I consider of a true public servant," Broussard said.


Facing controversy, the board voted unanimously to reelect John Brown, Sr. as president, waiving limits on board presidency terms.


In a second split vote, they reelected Ellison to keep her post as vice president over Nolan Marshall, Sr. Ellison voted for herself, along with John Brown, Ben Kleban and Ethan Ashley. Marshall won support from members Sarah Usdin and Woody Koppel.

Below is the video posted to YouTube showing Ellison's 2012 testimony.