Some parents have called out a Colorado middle school after administrators invited a drag queen to speak to students during a literacy event.
Rocky Top Middle School in Thornton hosted the educational event for students last week. Guests were invited to the school to talk about their careers and the importance of literacy in the work they do, KDVR-TV reported.
-DRAG QUEEN CAREER DAY VISIT-
Parents at one #Colorado middle school are mad, after the district allowed a local drag queen to speak at career day.
— Dillon Thomas (@DillonMThomas) October 22, 2018
“I was pretty appalled. I was pretty surprised. It was a shock, because no one was notified,” one parent, Jen Payer, told the local news outlet.
Dancer and performer Zachary Sullivan, whose stage name is Jessica La’Whor, told CNN he was invited to the literacy event after a fan who attends the school suggested him as a guest speaker. Sullivan, who is gay, appeared at the event in costume and introduced himself as “Miss Jessica.”
Another parent, Heather Rogers, said Sullivan is an adult entertainer who spoke “to 12-year-old students about something that’s adult nature.”
Nevertheless, Sullivan said he had a good time, noting all the students were “sweet and wanted to get to know me.” The school, too, is standing by its decision to invite the drag queen. Rocky Top Principal Chelsea Behanna said Sullivan talked openly about bullying.
She did admit, however, she should have told parents before Sullivan spoke.
“I take responsibility for not notifying families ahead of time and apologize for any stress this has caused you and your child,” Behanna said. “Moving forward, a prominent step in planning for next year will be to share the guest list for all families prior to the event.”
“Should you feel like any of the sessions are not appropriate for your child, you’ll be welcome to notify us and we’ll make alternate arrangements for your child during that time,” she added.
As for Sullivan, he is not in anyway dissuaded from speaking to children. In fact, he told KDVR he wants to go “to more elementary schools because of this experience at Rocky Top,” adding, “I’ve already reached out to a couple people about how to develop a Ted Talk.”