ORLANDO, FLORIDA — An Orlando high school called off a visit from a cross-dressing man who was set to talk with students in the school’s library following pressure from the Florida Department of Education on Wednesday.
An LGBTQ student club at Boone High School planned to host local drag queen Jason DeShazo, who uses the stage name “Momma Ashley Rose,” for its “Drag and Donuts” event on Thursday afternoon.
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DEFENDS DRAG
In a message sent to parents, Boone Principal Hector Maestre said the event was “not a drag show” and called it “an opportunity for the students to hear a positive message of acceptance and love.” He also pointed out that Thursday would have been the third consecutive year that DeShazo had visited the club.
Maestre added: “The Department questioned whether the event was age and developmentally appropriate and indicated any administrator, teacher, or staff member in attendance may be investigated and jeopardize their professional license.”
The meeting itself was not canceled, but the title was changed to “Donuts and Florida Education Policy.” In a comment on the club’s Instagram page, Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) offered to join the meeting through Zoom.
Speaking at a board meeting on Wednesday, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. addressed DeShazo’s visit at Boone.
“I don’t understand how teachers and principals think that sponsoring such an event is proper,” Diaz said. “This seems highly inappropriate.”
Orange County School Board member Alicia Farrant also spoke out in opposition of the event in a Facebook post Wednesday morning, writing: “I have been made aware of a drag queen event that will be happening at one of our High Schools. I am looking into this to get further details but would like parents to know that I do NOT condone this type of event.”
Farrant added: “We need to be RAISING the standard of excellence in our schools and helping students excel academically, not inviting drag queens in to eat donuts with our children.”