Florida school board details harassment she faced from anti-maskers
A school board member in Brevard County, Fla., is detailing the harassment and disturbing treatment she and her family have faced from anti-maskers. Speaking at the Brevard County School Board meeting held on Tuesday, October 12, Jennifer Jenkins shared her grievances about the challenges they are facing as a result of the pandemic.
In a clip of the meeting, Jenkins noted her hesitance about verbalizing her concerns given the threats she's faced over the last few weeks. But now she feels obligated to speak out. "I've tried not to talk about this stuff publicly," Jenkins said.
She went on to explain where the problem lies as she recounted the harassment she's endured. "I don't reject people coming here and speaking their voice," Jenkins said. "... I reject them following my car around. I reject them saying that they're coming for me, that I need to beg for mercy."
"I reject that when they are using their First Amendment rights on public property, they're also going behind my home and brandishing their weapons to my neighbors."
Jenkins was also interviewed by NBC News where she revealed that she's taken the advice of district officials by reporting the incidents of harassment to local law enforcement. The Satellite Beach Police Department and Brevard County Sheriff's Office now have records of the attacks.
Jenkins' latest remarks come amid an ongoing clash between the White House, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and his administration over the governor's controversial ban on mask and vaccine mandates across the state. Although Jenkins was reluctant to publicly discuss the threats she and her family members faced, she also explained why she chose to do so.
"It became something on our agenda that I couldn't express to you why I was against it any longer," she said.
"Local school board members want to hear from their communities on important issues and that must be at the forefront of good school board governance and promotion of free speech," it said in a letter. "However, there also must be safeguards in place to protect public schools and dedicated education leaders as they do their jobs."