As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this week, K-12 public schools around the country are hosting reading events featuring drag queens to promote “gender ideology.” Maurice Sendak Community School, a public school located in Brooklyn, New York, hosted a drag queen “reader” and first grade teacher Alexis Hernandez marveled at the event in a testimonial published on Drag Queen Story Hour’s website.
“Drag Queen Story Hour gave my first graders a fun and interactive platform to talk and think about social and emotional issues like acceptance, being yourself, and loving who you are,” Hernandez said. “During our debrief … [students] were preaching the incredible lessons they had learned, like ‘it’s OK to be different,’ and ‘there’s no such thing as “boy” and “girl” things.’”
Drag Queen Story Hour markets itself to children between 3 and 8 years old. The program’s reading list includes books like “Jacob’s New Dress” by Sarah and Ian Hoffman and “Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall. While the former book’s plot revolves around a boy convincing his parents to let him wear a dress to school, the latter chronicles the journey of a crayon “mistakenly labeled” red to identify successfully as blue.
Reaction to The Tennessee Star story was immediate and overwhelming, with many readers pointing out that “thankfully this sort of promotion of perversion could never happen in Tennessee.”
But it is happening in Tennessee.
In Clarksville to be exact. This Sunday. At the Clarksville-Montgomery County public library.
Christina Riedel, Assistant Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County library, said that the Equality Clarksville drag queen reading event is “not an official event of the library, nor is the event endorsed or sponsored by the library. The non-profit group is simply using the meeting space in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the library, and that the meeting room space is available to any other non-profit group under those same guidelines.” Riedel also noted that a diverse array of other non-profits have used the meeting room space in the past, including those focused on culture, religious faith and educational interests. “Groups are not allowed to promote the events with posters on site, nor are they permitted to reach out to patrons of the library during the event to encourage them to participate,” Riedel added.
JC Bowman, Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, says that “while we are struggling with basic literacy in this state this sort of agenda-driven ‘reading’ event does nothing to improve reading skills nor is it age appropriate — whether it is in our public libraries or in our public schools.”
Constance Brown, President of the NEA affiliated Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Association declined to make any comment on the drag queen reading session.
Republican State Representative Jay Dean Reedy (R-Erin), who represents part of Clarksville-Montgomery County said: “I am thankful that we live in a free Country and will stand and defend it every day. However, this is not how our children should be taught to love reading. This is totally agenda driven, not age appropriate, and I am disappointed that our Public Library has become a focal point for such activity.
I am also very thankful that parents are free to keep their children away from this social indoctrination and desensitizing to what Christians understand to be a perverse lifestyle,” Reedy added.