One riled-up parent from Jacksonville has taken it to the highest level. Esther Lyle Byrd is now another local voice on the state Board of Education.
She was born in South Florida’s Palm Bay and made her way to Jacksonville in 1997. When the attack on the World Trade Center happened, she left college to join the Marine Corps
Earlier she told Eye on Jacksonville:
“The Information (and misinformation) Age of 140-character Tweets, 30-second soundbites, and memes galore – most brimming with snark and lacking in substance – has made for an inpatient electorate with quicker fingers and slower minds.”
“The polarization of politics and resulting frustration only drive us to what we want to hear, rather than meaningfully considering any other point of view. The complete and intentional failure of the education system to teach history, civics and Americanism have hindered many citizen’s ability to understand and interact with our government. Add to that the proliferation of wild conspiracy theories by unscrupulous actors and it makes for an electorate with plenty of patriotism and passion, but not always enough knowledge. The only solution to this societal problem is more voter education. That is my singular goal as a conservative activist.”
She has been married since 2010 to Cord Byrd, a lawyer who was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016.
She was a dedicated Donald Trump supporter and helped organize a huge boating display on the St. Johns River in support of him.
About a year ago Byrd, like many parents nationwide, decided she had enough of the woke culture and Critical Race Theory being imposed on children and got active in a Facebook group focused on schools.
“In February 2020, I was frustrated that so many patriots in the Beaches area wanted to support President Trump but couldn’t find ways to get involved and were always looking for good information about issues. I started a Facebook group (Trump Supporters Network, Duval & Nassau) with a few local friends, which quickly had a thousand, then 3,000 then 6,000 members around the state. They came for the boat parades, sign-waving and MAGA Happy Hours, but together we were able to educate countless people on issues, legislation and voting.
“With the 2020 election in the rear-view mirror, I continue my same goal and mission within the community, the Republican Women’s Club of Duval Federated and the Florida Federation of Republican Women. Through a variety of programming and speakers, we will educate ourselves, advocate for our values and help shape legislation that furthers conservative values. As we watch the undoing of all that President Trump did to make America great again, we have to build-up our electorate with the education to match our passion, so that we are even smarter, even stronger and even more ready to fight for America in the next four years!”
Byrd was appointed to the Board of Education by Gov. Ron DeSantis and attended her first board meeting Wednesday.
Joe York of Ponte Vedra, a former member of the Jacksonville Port Authority and Jacksonville Civic Council, also is on the board, which forms policy for Florida schools, kindergarten through 12th grade.