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Florida elementary school defends field trip to gay bar as part of ‘community’ education – LifeSite

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – Broward County Public Schools has come out in defense of one of its elementary schools taking children on a field trip to a gay bar with sexually-charged names for menu items, calling it an example of how kids learn about a community.

Rosie’s Bar and Grill says it wants to see customers “whether you are LBGTQ+ or an ally.” As covered by LifeSiteNews last week, Broward County School Board member Sarah Leonardi posted on Facebook that she “was SO honored to be invited to chaperone Wilton Manors Elementary’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s!”

“Wilton Manors Elementary School offers a Unit of Inquiry called, ‘How we organize ourselves,’” the school said in an undated news release from last week. “In the unit, students learn about neighborhood safety, community helpers, the importance of being a community member, what it takes for a community to be successful, different jobs in a community, and social skills when interacting with others.”

“They also visit a local restaurant, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, which is within walking distance from the school and opens early for the students,” the district said.

“The bar and restaurant was not open to the general public while students were present inside,” the district maintained. “When the business opened, students transitioned to a separate, outside location to order and eat their meals. The students order their meals from a student-friendly paper menu that has three child-friendly choices.”

“They learn about the types of jobs involved in operating a restaurant, how to pay for their meal, and how to leave a tip for the service they receive,” the public school district said.

The district’s actions are being investigated by the Florida state department of education according to a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“It’s inappropriate to take children to a bar — any type of bar — on a school field trip, when there are numerous educational and age-appropriate options,” DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw told LifeSiteNews on October 28. “The Florida Department of Education is aware of this incident and has opened an investigation.”

LifeSiteNews tried emailing and calling the district last week, but was transferred us to the central district office despite being told the call would be transferred to Principal Melissa Holtz’ office. The school answered and then dropped a second phone call when LifeSiteNews tried again to obtain comment.

Despite not speaking with LifeSiteNews, Leonardi says she has received death threats since helping out with the gay bar field trip.

“As a School Board member, I am committed to staying engaged with my community,” Leonardi told the Miami Herald. “I’m always proud to join classes for field trips and events, especially when our schools are connecting with the vibrant small businesses in my district.”

“The threats have been referred to the appropriate authorities, and I will continue to work hard to engage with my community, spread positivity, and represent my district on the School Board,” she added.

This is not the first recent controversy for Broward School District, which recently dropped its COVID-19 mask mandate but had been in violation of Gov. DeSantis’s prohibition on forced masking of kids.

His spokesperson speculated that the field trip was more “political activism” from liberal board members.

“This appears to be the latest example of political activism from a Broward County School Board member,” Pushaw told LifeSiteNews last week. “For more than two months, the Broward school board has been violating Florida law by taking away parents’ rights to choose whether their own children wear masks to school or not.”

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