A school district in Florida has cut ties with a local LGBTQ youth center after it was disclosed last month that the center was promoting a sexually explicit card game featuring pictures of penises and scrotums to youth as young as 13.
The Post Millennial reported on the story after it was covered by The Florida Standard, revealing that the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN) had twice posted photographs of the adult card game on the group’s Instagram page, in one now-deleted post inviting youth age 13-24 to come and enjoy the fun.
At the time, the JASMYN center enjoyed the support of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), but that is no longer the case. The Florida Standard has now reported the DCPS decision to withdraw from its decades-long relationship with the youth group, citing “apparent inappropriate conduct” as the reason.
“We have a responsibility to protect our school communities against the appearance of impropriety and apparent inappropriate conduct,” said DCPS Superintendent Diana Greene in an email to DCPS board members.
“The district simply cannot partner with the organization given their use of the program materials that the district believes to be inappropriate for use with children,” a spokesperson for DCPS said in a statement.
JASMYN CEO Cindy Watson called the Instagram post a “regrettable mistake” but claimed that the game was never available for minors to play.
“While it is regrettable that we posted something on social media in a way that could be so misunderstood, JASMYN has a long history in Northeast Florida of providing safe and affirming space for LGBTQ young people,” said Watson in a statement, calling the board’s decision “hasty” and an “overreaction to a far-right extremist website spreading inflammatory misinformation.”
However, the regrettable social media post Watson claims was “misunderstood” shows LGBTQ youth being invited to attend the SaturGayz event, for ages 13-24, alongside a photograph of the adult card game.
According to The Florida Standard, the relationship between DCPS and the JASMYN center had lasted over two decades, with JASMYN frequently visiting Gender Sexuality Alliance Clubs in the region’s secondary schools, as well as providing professional development on LGBTQ Diversity to school staff.
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