A Florida school district board member who chaperoned an elementary school field trip to an LGBTQ-friendly bar and grill has been the target of a Twitter backlash.
Sarah Leonardi wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone [Wilton Manors Elementary School’s] field trip to the incredible Rosie’s! The students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community!”
“A huge thank you to [Rosie’s Bar and Grill] for hosting this special field trip every year!”
Negative comments soon followed Leonardi’s post. Many responded to the post by writing that the restaurant wasn’t a place for children — with many either taking issue of bringing students to a queer-friendly establishment or having students go to a bar.
Some of the menu items featured on Rosie’s normal menu include the “Left One” for a chicken breast sandwich, the “Miley High Club, ”and the “Rhoda Cowboy,” The Miami Herald reported.
On Thursday, the school district released a statement, which said that students were given a “child-friendly” menu to select from.
Leonardi defended her decision to chaperone the field trip.
“As a school board member, I am committed to staying engaged with my community. I’m always proud to join classes for field trips and events, especially when our schools are connecting with the vibrant small businesses in my district,” Leonardi said in a statement to the paper.
She added that she and her family and friends “have been attacked with bigoted comments and death threats.”
“These attacks have no place in our society,” Leonardi continued. “The threats have been referred to the appropriate authorities, and I will continue to work hard to engage with my community, spread positivity, and represent my district on the School Board.”
An owner of Rosie’s, John Zieba, told The Miami Herald that children have been coming there for field trips for around 10 years.
“It’s a great experience for the kids to come in and learn how restaurants operate,” he said. “Everything’s just been blown way out of proportion for ridiculous purposes.”
Zeiba told the paper he was upset that such negative attention has been directed at the field trip.
“In the end,” he said, “they ordered some food and colored a pumpkin.”