Two arch-conservatives who have been sitting on the Board of Education for a year are advancing through their state Senate confirmation hearings.
Members of the Ethics and Elections committee gave their OK to Esther Byrd of Neptune Beach, who has supported Q-Anon and Jan. 6 insurrectionists in the past, and Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a Miami radiologist who has spoken out forcefully against trans care for children.
Lawmakers advanced the nominees without a detailed hearing, as part of a swath of 30 appointees at the front of the crowded agenda.
The Board of Education has taken a number of controversial stances, including a recent decision to expand the Parental Rights in Education law through 12th grade. When that law was passed a year ago, it only extended through third grade.
Appointed at the tail end of the 2022 Legislative Session, both Byrd and Christie are finally being vetted by the Senate, with the expectation hat they will be confirmed by Sine Die.
Byrd, the wife of Secretary of State Cord Byrd, made national news with her staunch defense of Capitol insurrectionists in 2021. She offered a defense of those “peacefully protesting” the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election while alluding to “coming civil wars.”
“ANTIFA and BLM can burn and loot buildings and violently attack police and citizens,” Esther Byrd wrote. “But when Trump supporters peacefully protest, suddenly ‘Law and Order’ is all they can talk about! I can’t even listen to these idiots bellyaching about solving our differences without violence.”
“In the coming civil wars (We the People vs the Radical Left and We the People cleaning up the Republican Party), team rosters are being filled … Every elected official in DC will pick one. There are only 2 teams… With Us [or] Against Us,” Byrd added.
Prior to that, she offered a defense of the Proud Boys on her Facebook page. Those statements came months after Byrd made comments supportive of QAnon after the Byrds were photographed on a boat flying a QAnon flag.
“Here’s a list of corporations who are promoting sick wacko Dylan Mulvaney a man who prances around pretending to be a 6 yo girl. They are bent on eliminating the family. All they want is disconnected consumers. Led by Joe Biden of course,” she tweeted on April 2.
“In Britain and other European countries they are pulling back from transing children, understanding that gender disturbance is, mainly, a passing, socially-conditioned phase. Here (the Biden administration is pushing transing children avidly, even after ill woman went berserk in Nash,” she tweeted, also on April 2.
Byrd and Christie will serve on the Board until 2025 if confirmed.