• Jacksonville library, citing safety concerns, cancels event meant for LGBTQ teens

    By: Jamarlo Phillips , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville Public Library has cancelled an event meant for LGBTQ teens, citing safety concerns.

    The Storybook Pride Prom was supposed to be held this Friday at the Willowbranch Library, a Jacksonville Public Library.

    Beatrice Palmer, an event goer, says she feels betrayed. “Honestly, we just turned Pride month into Pride year,” Palmer said.

    The Jacksonville Public Library canceled the event days before it was scheduled to occur.

    “I don’t understand why an event that you already planned in advance attached to somebody who brings in a big following wouldn’t be prepared for it,” Palmer said.

    A library spokesperson said they got hundreds of calls and emails about event and protesters were planning to show up. The library decided it couldn't take a chance.

    Chris Boivin is the assistant director at Jacksonville Public Library. 

    Boivin says security became a major concern for the event targeted to teenagers.


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    Outside groups were planning to protest and the library was concerned that even having Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officers on hand may not have been enough.

    “We just felt that this event for teens was going to be something that we weren’t going to be certain we could provide that type of security,” explained Boivin.

    Boivin said he has answered more than 100 calls from people who were concerned about the Storybook Pride Prom. 

    "The branch responded to another 350 or so, then of course on our own Facebook there were hundreds of comments, and in some of the other places that took this event to use it for different purposes, there were thousands,” said Boivin.

    STORY: Jacksonville Public Library cancels 'Storybook Pride Prom'

    Organizers of the prom said they plan to host the event at a local church Friday instead. 

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