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Lakeridge High School in Oregon has postponed an upcoming drag queen festival.
The all-ages event was supposed to raise money for gay rights organizations. It was sponsored by the high school’s gender and sexualities alliance.
Parents were enraged and fired off letters and phone calls to school leaders – demanding to know why taxpayer dollars were being used to host a drag show – at a public high school.
“Lakeridge High School should be shut down and every parent needs to pull their child out of that school until the person who scheduled this drag event is fired. If they’d try it once they’ll try it again when perhaps no one is paying attention,” one parent said.
In response, the school canceled Drag Fest. They blamed the cancellation on conservative groups who they accused of being violent and hate-driven.
“This decision has been driven by the alarming threats made by known violent and hate-driven organizations. These threats have arisen due to invitations extended to such organizations by individuals within and outside our learning community who do not align with our core values of inclusivity and belonging,” Principal Desiree Fisher said in a message published by the Lake Oswego Review. “Let me be unequivocal in my message: We are taking this step to ensure the safety of every member of our learning community. We stand firmly by our students in the Gender and Sexual Alliances (GSA) Club, who have invested tirelessly in planning and organizing this event. DragFest was conceived as a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. It provides a platform for all individuals to express themselves and be acknowledged, reinforcing our belief that everyone deserves visibility and a voice.”
The school said their decision to cancel the drag show was made with a heavy heart and deep concern for the safety of students.
“Unlike the unfounded fears propagated by those who have threatened the event, suicide is a real crisis in our community. We can still make a difference by promoting acceptance and understanding and supporting our young people during their formative years through donations to the Trevor Project on behalf of Lakeridge GSA,” Fisher told the newspaper. “Most of our learning community members are staunch supporters of all students, and many planned to show their support by attending the optional DragFest event. Our children must know they are seen, heard, and valued. I implore each of you to actively communicate your support by speaking out against hate, discrimination, or harassment whenever and wherever you encounter it. Our students deserve to know that they have far more allies than adversaries.”
I wonder if considerations were made about the safety of students being around grown men dressed like women? Schools are supposed to teach kids about math and science, not how to sashay across the stage in high heels and a feather boa.