A video clip of a Sarasota, Florida resident calling out disgraced school board member Bridget Ziegler's hypocrisy is making the rounds on social media, and it's giving us life!
Retired deputy superintendent of Maryland schools John Smeallie spoke out during a three-hour-long public comment section at Tuesday night's Sarasota School Board meeting, where most residents were asking the anti-LGBTQ+ board member to step down from her post amid a sex scandal where Ziegler admitted to police that she had a threesome with her husband and another woman.
During the public comment section of the meeting, Smeallie made a speech standing up for the LGBTQ+ community and calling out Ziegler's blatant hypocrisy, explaining that she has "failed miserably" to be a good leader.
"[By] belittling the LGBTQ+ community, marginalizing its members, and creating fear among students and staff who are part of this community, you have sown nothing but disrespect," he said.
Ziegler, who cofounded Moms for Liberty — a far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ "parental rights" group — and championed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' hateful "Don't Say Gay" bill, has dug her heel in and refused to resign despite rape allegations against her husband revealing that she had taken part in a same-sex sexual encounter.
Next, Smeallie called out this harmful hypocrisy, "...it turns out that you are a hypocrite of the worst order, one who preaches against the very behavior in which they are engaging," he explained. "It is no business of mine what you do in your, or anyone else's, bedroom; however, a leader can not say one thing and do another."
Then, in possibly the most satisfying part of his speech, Smeallie laid bare the truth of the situation. "Despite your attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, it would appear that you are a part of it. Certainly a B, maybe a plus," he quipped.
"Effective leaders do not rely on deceit, effective leaders work toward inclusion, effective school board members strive to value all students, all staff, and all ideas," Smeallie said.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community also came forward, speaking from the heart about how Ziegler has negatively impacted their lives.
Trans resident India Miller talked openly about being disowned by her family, being houseless, and being the victim of anti-trans violence. "It was hard, but what's harder for me is living here," she revealed, as reported by LGBTQ Nation. "That we're doing this. We're pretending there's something wrong with people with how they're born."
Then, she directly questions Ziegler, "Why are you here? Everyone here asked you to leave… Are you that invaluable? Really? You know you're not. You have a political agenda, and you're trying to make money, and you're doing it off the backs of students, human beings like me."
It feels like every time we turn around, another "traditional values" politician or community leader is proven to be a hypocrite, but with citizens like these standing up for their rights, maybe we stand a chance of fighting back against the hate.