Parents with students attending Willis High School in Texas were surprised and upset to find out that a drag queen performer, with the stage name “Lynn Adonis-Deveaux,” had been on campus to teach students in a cosmetology class how to apply makeup.
When some parents protested, Anthony Lane, an English teacher at the high school, fanned the flames of controversy with a Facebook post. He wrote: “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’s best for your kids.”
Lane’s post continued: “Parents believe they should be able to storm the school in the name of political and religious belief 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.”
Dale Inman, a pastor and a trustee for a nearby school district, was one of those parents who spoke out against inviting drag performers onto a high school campus. His wife teaches at the school and he has three daughters who attend there. He said, “I put numerous calls into the administrator’s office, which of course they made it abundantly clear they will not talk about it.”
Adonis-Devereux apparently performs at adult venues and is not a licensed cosmetologist. Inman said, “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.”
Willis Independent School District (WISD) officials sent a statement to parents about the incident: “School administrators learned at the end of the day that the man was wearing jeans but also wore heels and makeup. 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.”
The issue dominated a recent WISD board meeting, with parents and students talking both for and against the drag performer teaching a class. Some speakers also criticized Inman for speaking out against the event.
Texas Values, a Focus-affiliated Family Policy Council, submitted a Public Information Act request to the school district, asking for Adonis-Deveaux’ legal name. The school district has until November 27th to respond.
Texas Values explained the request by noting incidents where drag performers with criminal records were given access to children at “Drag Queen Story Hours”: “Willis ISD seemed to go into protective mode when people started asking for the Drag Queen’s real name. Other incidents have happened in Texas where it was later discovered that two Drag Queens were registered sex offenders, after they made appearances with children at a public library. Additionally, a Drag Queen reader in Austin has a prior sexual conviction for prostitution.”
Related articles and resources: