High school students in a Wisconsin public school were audience to a song and dance routine by a French teacher dressed in drag during the school’s Fine Arts Week.
Middleton High School’s French teacher, Matthew Kashdan, was the featured drag performer at the school assembly.
On his LinkedIn, Kashdan shares his teaching and educations experience, but notes, “My particular area of interest within study abroad is working with students of varying identities and tailoring study abroad experiences that will best fit where they are and what will be safe.”
During the performance last week, he strutted onto the auditorium stage in a high-cut, blue sequinned dress, red boots, and blond wig, lip-syncing and dancing to “Rain on Me” by pop divas Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.
One parent sent the video and her comments to local conservative radio host Vicki McKenna.
“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 alerting 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 added.
Shannon Valladolid, the school district’s director of Information and Public Relations, said that the high school’s faculty vets staff performances. She told Empower Wisconsin that the staff talent show “historically has been a very popular part of the week.”
Valladolid said that the school had received only one parent complaint about the drag performance as of Tuesday morning. She said the school is “reviewing protocols and processes going forward to make sure all perspectives are considered.”
The slogan featured on the home page for Middleton High School reads “inclusive. innovative. inspiring.”