A Pennsylvania school district is apologizing to parents and the community after one of its teachers organized an afterschool drag show without the school’s knowledge.
The school district told Local12, that it learned of the performance through videos and pictures on social media, which gained attention from parents in the community.
“I was in shock at first,” Angela Hess, a Hempfield School District parent said. “I thought there was no way that something like that could take place inside a could with kids.”
Parents became upset believing that the performance was sexual in nature and took issue with the fact that it was done without parental permission.
“I have no problems at all with the LGBTQ group, the GSA group, or with drag shows in general,” Hess continued. “I just don’t think that there’s a place for that inside a school,” Local12 reported.
However, other parents argued that asking for parent permission could put students in an uncomfortable position.
“I don’t think it was meant to promote sexuality,” Dianna Allen, another parent in the school district countered. “I think it’s meant to promote arts and individuality and unifying a diverse community and promoting acceptance.”
According to Local12, the staff member who called in the professional dancer is an advisor for the Gay Sexuality Alliance Club at the high school and has allegedly held this event for three years.
“They don’t need to deal with being told that they were wrong for being who they are,” Allen said.
Hempfield School District wrote in a statement, “We are appalled at what took place and in no way condone this type of activity in our schools. Neither the dress of the invited guests nor the performance was appropriate in our school setting.”
“It validated that they don’t support something like this for our children to view,” Hess said.
“When you stifle things like this and it comes across as shame, you kind of shame the children into being what society deems them to be,” Allen explained to Local12.
The teacher was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of its ongoing investigation.