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Florida School Board Member Hit With Death Threats For Taking Kids To Local Gay Bar And Grill

Florida School Board Member Hit With Death Threats For Taking Kids To Local Gay Bar And Grill

At a polarized time when school boards around the country are facing pushback from critics over LGBTQ+ inclusive lessons and mask mandates, one Florida school board member found herself on the receiving end of outrage after she took schoolchildren on a field trip to a gay bar.

For the last 10 years, the school board has partnered with the owner and staff of Rosie's Bar & Grill, a gay bar in Wilton Manors, and taken children on a field trip where they learn about ordering from a menu, paying the bill, and tipping the server.

Although the establishment is known for raunchy menu items like the "Rhoda Cowboy" and "Ivana Hooker" burgers, Rosie's co-owner John Zieba notes that the children are given age-appropriate menus.

But that didn't stop people from criticizing and sending death threats to school board member Sarah Leonardi after she posted about an experience where children "learned a lot about our community!"

Some people who responded to her tweet, which quickly went viral, went so far as to call her "evil" and accuse her of "grooming" and indoctrinating children.

Others came to Leonardi's defense.

Leonardi has confirmed she reported death threats to the police.

She later issued a statement saying:

"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 schools are connecting with the vibrant small businesses in my district."
"Sadly, I've recently been attacked with bigoted comments and death threats. My friends and family have also been targeted."

7NewsMiami spoke to former student Patrick White, who confirmed the field trip has not only gone on for years but he actually went on it when he was nine years old.

"Basically, we went over there, we ate and had some fun. We all wore, like, matching shirts."

The Florida Department of Investigation told the news outlet it would "determine if there is a legally sufficient complaint."