EXCLUSIVE – Now school CANCELS its ‘full-blown drag’ Pride Day event including controversial drag queen’s talk to young kids about ‘homophobia and mental health’ after backlash
- Children as young as 11 had been urged by school to dress in drag for Pride
- New Mills School in Derbyshire were hosting ‘Drag ‘n’ Rainbows’ day on June 16
A secondary school today dramatically axed a Pride Day event where it had asked young children to dress up as drag queens – after parents bombarded the head with complaints.
The non-uniform day at New Mills School in Derbyshire was dubbed ‘Drag ‘n’ Rainbows’ and would have featured Sab Samuel, better known as Aida H Dee, who runs Drag Queen Story.
But after a letter was sent out to parents about the June 16 event, which is being held to mark Global Pride Month, many expressed serious concerns.
And head teacher Heather Watts this afternoon told MailOnline the controversial day would no longer go ahead as planned.
She said: ‘As a school we want to support all our pupils and were happy to support our student LGBT group to organise the event planned for June 16.
The day will feature a talk from Sab Samuel, an author also known by the stage name Aida H Dee, who runs Drag Queen Story
‘Due to stories that have appeared in the national press I have now received a large number of emails, both supporting the event and expressing their concerns about the event.
‘I have today taken the decision to cancel Friday’s event, to avoid any potential disruption to the school on that day, when many of our pupils will be taking GCSE exams. Although we support diversity, I have to consider the well-being of all our pupils and with a large number of students taking their exams I have to consider the potential impact of any distractions.
‘I know that many of our pupils, staff and parents may be disappointed by this decision. I will be in discussion with our pupils, parents and staff, to seek their views on what alternative events we could organise in the future to celebrate Pride.’
The earlier invitation had reads that the school wanted to ‘encourage all students of all genders to wear something rainbow or colourful.
‘They may express themselves by doing something small like wearing a tutu, make-up, or painting their nails, to going all out in full-blown drag,’ the letter said, the Telegraph reported.
Science teacher Thomas Robertson, with the backing of the headteacher Heather Watts, had insisted that ‘drag is an art form that is fundamental to the LGBT+ community that challenges the norm as a celebration and as a form of protest’.
But the idea was not welcomed by all the parents with children at the school.
The non-uniform day at New Mills School in Derbyshire has been dubbed ‘Drag ‘n’ Rainbows’
One school insider said: ‘They are making drag the central theme which, I feel, is quite controversial.
‘Drag is a highly-sexualised parody of women; fine on the stage, not fine in schools.’
Tracy Shaw from the parents’ group Safe Schools Alliance UK was reported to have said: ‘We are extremely concerned that a drag queen has been invited to talk to children about suicide.
‘There are strict guidelines in place for discussing suicide… Once again safeguarding has gone out of the window as the school appears to be more interested in demonstrating how ‘inclusive’ they are rather than thinking about what inclusivity means.’
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