Following threats, officers to be on-hand for ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ in SC town

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SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office officials said deputies will be at the Five Forks Library on Sunday to ensure the safety and security of everyone during the scheduled Drag Queen Story Hour event.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, deputies will be at the library from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Drag Queen Story Hour will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

“In preparation for the scheduled ‘Drag Queen Story Hour,’ taking place at the Five Forks Library, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office wants to address several measures of enforcement that will be taking place to ensure the safety and security of all people attending or present during the event. These steps have been initiated after receiving information regarding multiple threats made over social media,” Lt. Ryan Flood said.

The following is a list of safety and security procedures issued by the sheriff’s office for Sunday’s event:

  • There will be no bags of any kind allowed on the property of the library.
  • Anyone wishing to assemble must use the designated areas in the parking lot in an effort to not block or interfere with library patrons. 
  • Expect heavy traffic congestion during the above time period.
  • No parking on Woodruff Road, Sunnydale Drive or Dusty Lane. Deputies and Troopers from the Highway Patrol will be providing traffic control and enforcement. Only residents of Mcrae place will be allowed on Sunnydale Drive (beyond the library)
  • No weapons of any kind will be allowed on the library’s property.

“We are confident that the people in our community will join us in the effort to ensure this event is peaceful and safe for everyone present,” Flood said.

We reported earlier that the Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour of South Carolina organization had reserved a room at the library for an event — Drag Queen Story Time — to read stories to children. 

The organization said the goal of the event was to promote kindness, confidence and tolerance.

After the announcement of the event, a counter event — opposing the ‘story hour’ — was scheduled to take place at the same time and same place, right outside the Five Forks Branch Library in the parking lot.

On Tuesday, WSPA reported that library officials had canceled the counter event due to policy violations. 

According to James Wooten, community engagement manager with Greenville County Library System, the event was listed on eventbrite.com, which violates the library system’s policy.

Wooten said the event being listed “restricts admittance to those who hold tickets, and it requires those attending an event in a Library System meeting room to show identification.”

On Wednesday, one of the participants of the “story hour,” who was going to read at the original story time, went back to the library and reserved a room for the same date and time.

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