A teacher reportedly defended the presence of a drag queen during a high school class with a Facebook post in which he asserted the parents who objected are “bigoted” and “should not have the final say” in raising their own children.
English teacher Anthony Lane, of Willis Independent School District (WISD) High School in Texas, reportedly removed his Facebook post in which he defended another teacher’s decision to host a drag queen in the high school’s cosmetology class to offer makeup tips. Lane sharply criticized parents who complained about the drag queen’s presence without their knowledge.
Faithwire posted a screenshot of Lane’s post before it was allegedly removed.
The screenshot reportedly shows Lane posted on October 26 that he is “both a parent and a teacher.”
“Our society is very sensitive when it comes to criticizing parents, and teachers are often afraid of parents because they are given so much authority,” he reportedly wrote and continued:
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.
Oh Miss Lynn Adonis, how we thoroughly enjoyed your company today! Laughs all day and memories we’ll never forget. So thankful for you! pic.twitter.com/Y7GjPziQsJ
— Willis High School Cosmetology (@willishscosmo) October 18, 2019
Local news media Community Impact reported a Willis High School cosmetology teacher invited a drag queen who uses the name Lynn Adonis-Deveaux to attend the class:
According to a statement from WISD sent to parents, the administration was aware Adonis-Deveaux performed in drag previously, but was understood they would not be in “full drag.”
“School administrators learned at the end of the day that the man was wearing jeans but also wore heels and makeup,” the 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.”
Dale Inman, a Conroe Independent School District (CISD) trustee who has three daughters who attend Willis High School, said a parent contacted him with concerns after the drag queen event and he decided to find out more about it.
“I put numerous calls into the administrator’s office, which of course they made it abundantly clear they will not talk about it,” Inman said, according to Community Impact. “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.”
The local news report noted several Facebook screenshots showing the drag queen makeup event was listed on the high school’s monthly calendar.
Inman observed Adonis-Deveaux is not a licensed cosmetologist.
“As a parent, I have a right to know who’s in that school building,” Inman said.
The controversy over the drag queen’s presence in the school intensified when Lane reportedly posted his criticism of parents expressing concern about the event to Facebook.
As Community Impact also reported, Inman subsequently asked at a November 11 WISD board meeting, “Who’s responsible for authorizing this adult entertainer who works in the sexually oriented business industry to enter the Willis High School and lay hands on our children?”
According to the report:
Willis High School Principal Stephanie Hodgins was booed as she introduced herself. She said her staff is working on a model to improve student learning and student growth.
“We make decisions always keeping in mind these questions: Is this what’s best for kids? Is this going to help us grow academically?” Hodgins said. “If the answer to these questions is no, then we move on. But if the answer is yes, then we are moving in the right direction.”
Lane reportedly spoke at the board meeting in defense of LGBT community members.
“I think as a district we need to make an initiative to teach our kids to be tolerant and respectful,” Lane said.
However, David Riley, a pastor at Grace Family Fellowship Church, asked, “Who examined the character of the person who stood before our kids?”
WISD reportedly released a statement to parents that said the trustees “have examined our process on guest speakers and have made some adjustments in regard to communication to better serve the Willis ISD Community.”