[UPDATE]: Broward County Public Schools responded to the criticism Thursday evening in an emailed news release, confirming that the field trip occurred, but saying that the bar was not open to the general public during the trip and that students were given a “student-friendly” menu.
A public school in Florida took young students to a gay bar for a field trip this week, according to photos of the trip posted on social media by a school board member.
Wilton Manors Elementary School in Broward County took elementary school students to Rosie’s Bar and Grill, a local gay bar, a school board member said Wednesday.
“I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone @WiltonManorsES’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s!” Broward County School Board Member Sarah Leonardi wrote in a tweet along with pictures of the class outing.
“The students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community!” she added.
Photos showed a group of 18 young children posing for a picture in matching shirts next to the bar’s sign. Another photo showed the children sitting at tables inside the rainbow-bedecked bar wearing face masks and apparently listening to a presentation.
Leonardi also suggested the field trip to the gay bar may have happened more than once, offering “a huge thank you” to Rosie’s “for hosting this special field trip every year!”
The post sparked outrage on social media after the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok posted about the field trip.
“Get your kids out of public schools,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The kind of bar is not even the point… it’s a BAR…” wrote another.
“I remember when school field trips were to Butterfly World, Bonnet House, or the museum,” wrote a private Facebook group called Moms for Liberty – Broward County, FL, according to a screenshot of the group’s post.
Rosie’s menu on its website features dishes with names like Rhoda Cowboy, Ivana Hooker, Hellena Bun (with “Smack My Cheeks and Make ‘em Rosy” sauce), Georgia Bleu, Young Ranch Hand, and Willy Cheesesteak.
“Rosie’s Bar and Grill has been a tropical oasis in the middle of the Island City, Wilton Manors, since 2006, offering amazing food and refreshing drinks and sassy fun,” the bar’s website states. “Whether you come for lunch or dinner, for Sunday Funday Brunch or for just a few drinks… whether you are LBGTQ+ or an ally…whether you are local or visiting… whether you come with a group or venture out solo… you will have a memorable experience with the most talented crew in South Florida.”
Wilton Manors Elementary School offers a “Unit of Inquiry” called, “How we organize ourselves,” the statement said, in which “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 bar and restaurant was not open to the general public while students were
present inside. 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,” the school district said. “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. In addition, as part of the field trip, the
Wilton Manors Police Department provides traffic assistance for the students so they can see and learn about the
different ways police officers support the community.”