Parents at Community Preschool worry about kid’s safety ahead of drag story hour at church in Chesterland

The preschool is inside the church that was vandalized by Molotov cocktails after threats were made
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:20 PM EDT
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CHESTERLAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Controversy in a local community over a drag-themed event, and now parents are now stuck in the middle and worried about their children’s safety.

When Lin Hughes heard about the violence at her daughter’s preschool, her heart dropped.

“This isn’t just some kids stealing a Pride flag off the front of some church, this isn’t some kids throwing beer bottles at a sign, this is literally a terrorist attack,” she said.

Community Preschool is a not-for-profit, non-denominational outreach that has rented spaced at Community Church of Chesterland for more than 3 decades.

Last weekend, Chester Township Police said someone threw Molotov cocktails into the church and destroyed the sign on the front lawn.

Police are investigating after vandals threw Molotov cocktails at the door and busted a sign at...
Police are investigating after vandals threw Molotov cocktails at the door and busted a sign at the Community Church of Chesterland.(WOIO-TV)

This after church leaders announced plans to host a drag story hour on April 1. It is in conjunction with the drag brunch planned at Element 41 in Chardon that has also received threats.

Since that time, they say there’s been an uptick of hateful emails, messages and threats from hate groups threatening to protest at the event.

Parents are concerned their children will get caught in the crossfire.

“You see the photos and you’re like oh my God, somebody actually did that. The intent there was to burn this building down,” said Hughes.

The students are on spring break but school officials have been meeting with police and discussing safety precautions. Some parents are pulling their kids out but others are waiting to see what will happen this weekend after the events.

They hope the tensions and violence die down for everyone’s sake.

“We have a month and a half left of school and it’s going to be terrible if our kids don’t get to finish their school year because of horrible violent acts,” said Hughes.

Police are investigating the incident.