THORNTON, Colo. — Some parents of students at a middle school in Colorado are expressing objection after learning that a man who works as a “drag queen” was among the entities who spoke to students at a recent literacy day.
According to reports, the man, who goes by the stage name “Jessica L’Whor,” appeared at Rocky Top Middle School on Friday, visiting various classrooms to talk about his profession and to read a book about acceptance. The man changed his name to “Ms. Jessica” for the occasion as he believed his full stage name would not be appropriate for children.
He was one of over 100 visitors to the school for “Rocky Top Reads,” which included first responders, professional athletes, journalists, politicians, clergymen and others. The purpose of the event was to spotlight “the connection between literacy and a successful career.”
However, as parents were not notified that “Ms. Jessica” would be speaking to children at the school, some were disturbed when they found out that their son or daughter was introduced to a drag queen that day. The male entertainer did not perform for students, but did appear in full drag, wearing a dress, wig and makeup.
“I was pretty appalled. I was pretty surprised. It was a shock because no one was notified,” parent Jen Payer told local television station KDVR.
“Parents are in an outrage, and this is so inappropriate on so many levels,” another parent told CBS News.
While Rocky Top Middle School Principal Chelsea Behanna later sent a note to parents to apologize for not providing advance notice about “Ms. Jessica’s” part in Rocky Top Reads, she stood by his inclusion in the offering, and referred to him with female pronouns throughout her explanation.
“Jessica, the drag queen, began her guest session with an explanation of her career—as did all other guests. She explained that she is a performer who, though a man, portrays a woman for her performances,” Behanna wrote. “She detailed her background in the performing arts throughout middle and high school, talked about her dream of being a teacher, then explained how she earned a business degree from Colorado State University.”
“Jessica then read a great chapter from Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline. She used the text to illustrate the damage bullies can do, the need to always put kindness and acceptance at the forefront, and the shortsightedness of judging a book by its cover,” she outlined. “Students were completely engaged and asked lots of great questions.”
“Ms. Jessica,” whose first name is Zach, told reporters that he would like to come back to Rocky Top, and would like to visit other schools as well.
“I want to go to more elementary schools because of this experience at Rocky Top. I’ve already reached out to a couple people about how to develop a TED Talk,” he stated.
“I would tell the parents, I’m not telling your kid to go off and become a drag queen. I’m telling them to have the conversations, because it will come up in life,” he said.
In the future, parents will receive a guest list and will be able to pull their child from any particular session that they find objectionable.
Ephesians 6:4 says that fathers are to raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”