A Texas teacher says that parents should not be able to stop schools from hosting drag queen events.
According to news reports, Willis High School English teacher Anthony Lane took to Facebook to scold parents who were outraged that a drag queen performer had been invited to the school to instruct students how to apply make-up in a cosmetology class. In a post that has since been removed, Lane allegedly said the school's parents were beholden to "misguided, bigoted views" that were driven by their "archaic beliefs."
Faithwire obtained a screenshot of Lane's alleged post and a transcript of it can be found below:
I believe that raising a child is the responsibility of the community, and that parents should not have the final say. Let's be honest, some of you don't know what is best for your kids.
Parents believe they should be able to storm the school in the name of political and religious beliefs if something happens in the school that they are morally opposed to. They forget that we make a promise to prepare their children to live in a diverse world. We are not required to protect the misguided, bigoted views of their parents.
If you want your children educated with your values, find a private school that will do it. The public education system is not here to serve your archaic beliefs.
Lane also spoke in favor of the event at a school hearing on the matter where he reportedly tied objections to the drag queen's appearance to homophobia. "I think as a district we need to make an initiative to teach our kids to be tolerant and respectful," he said.
What are the details?
The controversy began when a teacher invited a drag queen named Lynn Adonis-Deveaux to address a cosmetology class at Willis High School, according to Community Impact Newspaper.
The school district, which is approximately 40 minutes north of downtown Houston, told parents they were unaware the performer would be appearing in full drag. "School administrators learned at the end of the day that the man was wearing jeans but also wore heels and makeup," a statement said. "However, the speaker did as asked, which was to talk to students about makeup application. The guest speaker did not discuss sexual orientation, lifestyle or anything else other than makeup application."
Oh Miss Lynn Adonis, how we thoroughly enjoyed your company today! Laughs all day and memories we’ll never forget.… https://t.co/O2D1lVQK1h— Willis High School Cosmetology (@Willis High School Cosmetology) 1571427440.0
'As a parent, I have a right to know'
At least one local school administrator and several parents were angered by the school's decision to invite Adonis-Deveaux to campus. "I put numerous calls into the administrator's office, which of course they made it abundantly clear they will not talk about it," said Dale Inman.
"I've got a problem when somebody with a false name enters a school and has advertised himself as an adult exotic dancer for men … Nobody would be allowed in a school under those circumstances," Inman added, while noting Adonis-Deveaux is free to do what he wants in his personal life. "As a parent, I have a right to know who's in that school building," he said.
Community Impact Newspaper also reported the school included the "Drag Queen/Makeup Class" event in its monthly calendar. However, it is unclear if Adonis-Deveaux is a licensed cosmetologist.
The issue was hotly debated at a November 11 school board of trustees meeting. Afterward, the board issued a statement to parents assuring them they had "examined our process on guest speakers and have made some adjustments in regard to communication to better serve the Willis ISD Community."