A crowd of anti-LGBTQ+ protesters showed up Thursday at the home of a Brevard County, Fla., school board member who supports her district’s inclusive policies.
Jennifer Jenkins, a member of the Brevard Public Schools board, was out of town with her husband and kindergarten-age daughter at the time, but the protesters have vowed to return every night to her home in Satellite Beach, Florida Today reports.
They carried signs with slogans such as “LGBTQ+ Agenda Is Ungodly” and “Two Genders & One Crazy-Evil School Board.” Some of the demonstrators were apparently from a group that protested the March 9 school board meeting, such as a man who gave his name as “Thomas Jefferson” and said the participants were “affiliated only with Jesus Christ,” according to Florida Today.
The uproar came after documents detailing the district’s policies for LGBTQ+ students circulated on social media. Among other things, the district allows transgender students to use the restrooms and join the sports teams consistent with their gender identity. About 40 people spoke either for or against the policies at the March 9 meeting, and conservative groups including one called Moms for Liberty objected. Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters heckled others as they entered the building, the paper notes.
Jenkins told Florida Today she was shocked that demonstrators came to her home. “I don’t even know what I would do if I was home with my daughter right now,” she said. “It’s the same people that were screaming in deputy sheriffs’ faces. I understand freedom of speech and everything, but the fact that they’re doing this in a residential neighborhood is [expletive] disgusting to me.” They told her father-in-law they’d be back every night.
Members of Moms for Liberty said they were not involved in the protest at Jenkins’s home, and a local Republican official condemned the action. Susan Hodgers, a former district chair of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee, said she was “disgusted” by the intrusion on Jenkins’s neighborhood and said he herself had been called a “gay lover.” Hodgers also noted that when she saw a similar group of protesters on a street corner recently, she heard one say to another, “We’re gonna raise those kids in a nice, straight American country where it’s safe for them to go to the bathroom without being afraid of pedophiles.”
Jenkins said she was willing to deal with people who disagreed with the district’s policies but that showing up at her home was too much. “This is my home,” she told Florida Today. “This is my family. This is so disgusting. … If you have a problem with me, you call me and email me, you come to a public comment. You don’t come to my home.”
A group of supporters, however, came to her home Friday. They left chalk messages on her sidewalk and driveway, including “Love Wins” and “Protect Trans Kids.”