PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA — As early voting opens in Pinellas County; Stephanie Meyer, a school board candidate in District 6 is being harassed as she fights to represent children. Labeled “hateful and bigoted” by local Democrats, Meyer has been targeted by progressive liberals. But Meyer says she simply wants schools to focus on the essentials of reading, math, and other core subjects.
DRAG QUEEN INFLUENCE
When Meyer criticized a photo of drag queens performing at the church that her opponent Brian Martin attends, supporters of Martin took offense. The images, from the Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, feature children interacting with drag queens. Martin said he sometimes attends services at the church.
But Meyer told The Florida Standard that she is less concerned with what happened at Allendale church on October 9th and more concerned with her opponent, Brian Martin. According to Meyer, Martin is “an active participant in his local United Methodist Church,” as his voter questionnaire indicates.
Meyer says that while Martin may choose to bring his own children to a church glorifying drag queens, she’s concerned about his position on the issue in the schools if he is elected.
“I have absolutely no problem with consenting adults, but I really have a problem with adults who are purposely using children as props for their sexual agenda, their political agenda, or their social agenda,” Meyer told The Florida Standard. “I am most concerned about this push that we’ve seen across the country to adopt this idea that drag queens somehow belong in the classroom, reading stories to very young, minor children.”
HARASSED BY DEMOCRATS
Jessica Jecusco-Wright, a Pasco Democratic Public Education Caucus member – who has no interest in the Pinellas County race – sent a letter to Meyer’s employer, Hillsborough County Community College. The letter described Meyer as “hateful and bigoted.” It stated that she “continues to perpetuate hateful platforms that are harmful to students, especially those of color and students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The letter further stated that Jecusco-Wright finds Meyer’s “employment and position at Hillsborough Community College to be wholly inappropriate and a gross oversight of the hiring committee,” because Meyer is endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC.
In both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, concerned parents have been attending school board meetings to express outrage over sexually explicit books available to all age groups, including 5–7-year-olds.
“I don’t support banning anything. But as a publically funded, taxpayer-supported school system – teaching minors under the age of 18 – we should not have any type of pornographic or sexually explicit materials readily available to them,” said Meyer.
“If parents want to make the decision to allow their children to read this type of material, they can go to their local library or bookstore because all of these books are available there.”
Meyer, who grew up in Pinellas County, said she had a good experience attending public schools. But she’s seen a drastic change in the school district’s focus. “The focus is no longer on academics, and we’ve seen that over two-thirds of our students are unable to read at grade level. This is a huge problem because it affects these kids in every other subject,” said Meyer.
Meyer says she is running to bring the focus back to academics instead of spending so much time on social and political ideology. “We want to make sure that our students are prepared for adulthood, for a life of self-sufficiency and self-reliance.”