It was supposed to be a week to showcase the fine arts at their school. Instead, students at a Wisconsin high school were treated to a song and dance number by their French teacher — dressed in drag.
Last week, teacher Matthew Kashdan strutted onto Middleton High School's auditorium stage celebrating Fine Arts Week dressed in a high-cut, blue sequined dress, red boots and a blond wig, lip-syncing and dancing to the song "Rain on Me" by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Empower Wisconsin reported. It was a surprise to the assembled students, the outlet added.
Shannon Valladolid, the school district's director of information and public relations, reportedly acknowledged that all staff performances were reviewed by the high school's teaching faculty.
She explained in an email to Empower Wisconsin that Fine Arts Week is an annual event at Middleton High School that allows students and staff to showcase their talents in music, art, dance and theater.
The school had received one parent complaint about the performance, she said.
"The school is reviewing protocols and processes going forward to make sure all perspectives are considered," Valladolid said.
Kashdan's song and dance number has drawn the ire of parents and other concerned citizens who think public schools are not the place for drag shows even if the faculty considers it "art."
"I send my children to school and entrust them to teachers that I have to believe are professionals who won't destroy their innocence for their own pleasure," a Middleton-Cross Plains Area Schools parent wrote in an email to radio host Vicki McKenna. "If MATTHEW KASHDAN makes a decision to perform his drag show at school, what else does he do in his classroom with a roomful of children? What kind of educators thought this was appropriate? Drag shows are 'fine arts'? If a teacher is a pole dancer or stripper, can they also perform for my children?"
"I don't care what MATTHEW KASHDAN does outside of school. I DO CARE what he does at Middleton High School," the parent continued.
Dan Lennington, deputy counsel for Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, tweeted the video of the teacher's drag performance.
"'Most of you know me as the French teacher, but now you will know me as the drag teacher!' Middleton students treated to this performance as part of 'Fine Arts Week.' (Middleton students are 47% proficient in math and 49% in language arts.)"
"I'm a teacher and I don't do that. None of (the) teachers I work with would ever do that or look for any personal validation from students. But yes, from what I see on Twitter there seems to be a decent amount who do. Parents and teachers need to speak out more against this crap," one teacher responded.
Another user wrote, "There are places designated for this. They are called Drag bars. Not schools."
One user noted, "I don't need anymore reasons to home school my daughter, but this helps to seal the deal."
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