A woman in Tampa, Florida, reportedly attacked a group of teachers online, accusing them of being pedophiles, over the issue of wearing masks in schools, according to local news station WFLA.
- The woman, identified by the station as Elana Luyo, goes by the name Elana AQ online and is an apparent supporter of QAnon, “a far-right conspiracy theory that claims there is a Satan-worshiping pedophile running a global child sex-trafficking ring.”
- Damaris Allen told the station that the trouble started when she made a comment on a friend’s Facebook page about students wearing mask, which prompted an angry response from Luyo and then quickly spiraled out of control.
“She kept saying that she was going to make sure we never worked again, and that everyone knew what sickos we were and that she had her arsenal ready and that she was basically going to get rid of us at any cost,” said Allen.
- The Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association said Luyo also posted threatening messages to its Facebook page, leading the group to eventually block her.
“She was accusing the whole union, all teachers of being pedophiles,” said Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins the Executive director of the HCTA.
Baxter-Jenkins says the language the woman used is particularly troubling.
“Obviously for teachers that is a particularly offensive and problematic allegation given they are around children all of the time,” said Baxter-Jenkins.
- When contacted by the local news, Luyo admitted to making the posts but denied making threats.
- She claims the situation began when several teachers invaded a private Facebook group she belongs to that opposed wearing masks. Luyo alleges the teachers used fake names to sneak into the group.
“There is no science backing it up. They represent a collective communist society. It’s a representation of China. I mean the masks come from China,” said Luyo who added, “They admitted in their member only group that they snuck into our group like dirty little weasels.”
“I started calling them pedo-marxists. In my opinion, if you are sneaking into a Facebook group on social media, what are you doing behind closed doors, where no other parent can see what’s going on,” said Luyo.
- Allen said she had never joined the Facebook group Luyo referenced.
- The QAnon supporter said she looked up some of the teachers online and said they simply looked like pedophiles to her:
“Looking at the profiles of these teachers that were sneaking into our group, they looked very questionable, they looked disturbing,” said Luyo.
- According to the report, "Allen and the HCTA say they’ve reported the online threats to the F.B.I."