Newly-released emails show split between DCPS and JASMYN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is learning new details about what led up to Duval County Public Schools cutting ties with JASMYN.


JASMYN is the Jacksonville LGBTQ Youth Center that partnered with the district for more than 20 years.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

School board members raised concerns with district leadership after an article surfaced detailing a card matching game JASMYN promoted on Instagram.

The game featured different images of male genitalia.

Related Story: Duval schools ends partnership with LGBTQ youth center JASMYN over ‘their use of program materials’

One email from Nov. 22 was sent from Duval School Board member Charlotte Joyce to Superintendent Diana Greene.

Joyce wrote, “I wanted to share this with you and the board so that we can address the issue and take measures to ensure that these types of activities are not taking place on school property.”

In her response, Greene wrote, “I learned about this article last night, and I was disappointed and frustrated with JASMYN. Today we are in discussions with legal as to our next steps.”

In another email Action News Jax obtained dated Nov. 23, school board vice chair Cindy Pearson sent a series of pictures to Cindy Watson with JASMYN, showing two people playing the game.

Pearson wrote, “Please see the photos I received from a community member.”

Another email showed JASMYN received about $45,000 a year in federal grant funds through the district.

That amounted to $180,000 between Jul. 1, 2018 and Jun. 30, 2022.

In a later email, a member of the public cited published accounts of JASMYN promoting the game at an LGBTQ game night. The unidentified person asked, “Can you confirm that no further DCPS tax dollars are being funneled to this sick organization?”

On Friday, Cindy Watson with JASMYN provided the following statement: “We can unequivocally say that JASMYN only provides age-appropriate material to our teens and that the post in question was not intended for teens, but for the young adults we serve,” Watson wrote.

In November, DCPS issued the following statement:

“Many of you are aware of recent media attention surrounding the use of certain games and activities utilized by JASMYN as a part of their program for teens and young adults. Although JASMYN has been a partner to the district for over 20 years, providing support and resources for students, staff and the community, we have decided to terminate our current services agreement with their organization. The district simply cannot partner with the organization given their use of program materials that the district believes to be inappropriate for use with children. We must protect the continued good work of our schools and GSA clubs and the work they do each day to ensure our schools remain safe spaces for all students.”