JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) decided to sever its decades-long relationship with the local LGBTQ youth organization JASMYN after the group promoted a card game with different illustrations of penises and scrotums for teens as young as 13.
On November 18, The Florida Standard first reported on social media posts from Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, known by its acronym JASMYN, that showed what appeared to be either employees or volunteers playing a card game called Dick Match. The Instagram account The Free Floridian alerted The Florida Standard of the social media posts.
The game features playing cards with sketches of penises and scrotums of varying shapes and sizes, and is listed for adults “ages 18 and up” on Amazon. The caption from one post, which JASMYN has since taken down, promoted ‘SaturGayz’ for youth ages 13–24.
“APPARENT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT”
The Florida Standard obtained an email DCPS Superintendent Diana Greene sent to DCPS board members notifying them of the decision. In the email, Greene stated “We have a responsibility to protect our school communities against the appearance of impropriety and apparent inappropriate conduct.”
DCPS has worked with JASMYN for over 25 years. Public records show the district has funneled $180,000 to JASMYN from July 2019 to September 2021 through a Division of Adolescent Sexual Health (DASH) grant. JASMYN was also listed on the DCPS LGBTQ+ Support Guide as a local resource for students.
In 2020, DCPS published a proclamation honoring the 25th anniversary of JASMYN and highlighting the organization’s support for the district. JASMYN made “23 visits to 20 secondary school Gender Sexuality Alliance Clubs reaching 327 students, providing professional development on LGBTQ Diversity to 585 school personnel” and reached “585 middle and high school students” through programs on the JASMYN campus, during the 2017–2018 school year.
JASMYN and DCPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Eye on Jacksonville first broke the news of DCPS ending its relationship with JASMYN. In News4Jax’s coverage of the story, reporter Joe McClean failed to include any specific information about Dick Match, instead calling it simply “a novelty adult card game.”
McClean included a statement from JASMYN CEO Cindy Watson that read, in part: “JASMYN is unaware of how the decision was made, only that it seems to be an overreaction to a far right extremist website spreading inflammatory misinformation about our HIV prevention work with young adults.”
Additionally, The Florida Standard obtained an email from Loretta Prescott, JASMYN’s Director of Development, contacting DCPS deputy superintendent Dana Kriznar on November 18, alerting her to an article from a “right wing, virulently anti-LGBTQ internet site with an agenda.”
Prescott wrote that the outlet “mined our youth facing social media and have published without our comment an article that seeks to harm us.” She added that none of JASMYN’s programs are “secret or hidden.” However, JASMYN removed the Instagram post shortly after The Florida Standard requested comment on November 18.
Prescott also noted: “We continue to refuse to engage with these folks, for obvious reasons.”