FLAGLER, Fl – Following a series of incidents in which they had clashed with anti-LGBTQ+ and extremist right-wing members of the school board in east central Florida’s Flagler County, rising high school senior Cameron Driggers and his friends decided to organize for change.
Driggers told The Los Angeles Blade that his group, Recall Flagler County School Board (Recall FCSB), having targeted thousands of voters and launched two digital ads, is now partnering with the Florida Democratic Party on “a massive door-knocking campaign” to begin August 6.
Their goal? To oust and replace two far-right members, including Jill Woolbright, who is backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and made headlines last year for calling the police on a school librarian for the supposed crime of offering books with LGBTQ+ themes.
Earlier this week, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz accused Gov. DeSantis, who looms large over education policy in the state, of turning school board elections into “new political battlegrounds” and “playing politics with our children.”
Over the past few years, the governor has shepherded through multiple policies and laws forbidding discussion of systemic racism, sexual orientation, and gender equality in Florida schools.
Driggers said the five members of the Flagler County School Board are comprised of “two lunatics” (Woolbright and Janet McDonald), “two members who are pro-student,” and one who is “in the middle.”
Should any of them fail to earn 80% of the vote during the August 23 primary election, they will face off against challengers in runoff elections held in November. Early voting begins August 13, and the races in three districts – 1, 2, and 4 – are nonpartisan, meaning all registered voters may participate.
“Our prerogative is to replace [the extremist members] with champions,” Driggers said, by “galvanizing young people” and getting students involved, knocking on doors to change hearts and minds.
Challenging Woolbright in the race for the District 1 seat is Sally Hunt, an experienced educator and businessperson who is endorsed by Recall FCSB. The group is also supporting Courtney VandeBunte, an experienced teacher in her race for the open seat in District 2, where she will face off against two men who Driggers said are “very conservative,” one of whom is backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Driggers said he and his Gen Z friends, including Jack Petocz – whose activism over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law also made headlines this year – are “picking up the torch, showing up to say, ‘we have space in the world and the right to make our voices heard.’”