ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A “Donuts and Drag” event at Boone High School in Orlando was canceled, the school’s principal announced Wednesday.
According to the principal, Hector Maestre, one of the after-school clubs had invited a guest speaker — drag queen Jason DeShazo a.k.a. “Momma Ashley Rose” — to attend their meeting on Thursday.
Maestre said that the event wasn’t a drag performance, but it was set to be the third year the speaker had addressed the club.
As a result of a call from the Florida Department of Education, the event had to be canceled, Maestre said.
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According to him, the department voiced concerns over whether the event was age and developmentally appropriate, indicating that administrators, teachers or staff members in attendance could be investigated and have their professional licenses jeopardized.
DeShazo’s Rose Dynasty Foundation is a charitable group that raises money for nonprofits and community outreach through events in Central and North-Central Florida.
DeShazo told News 6 that he was “shocked and dismayed” upon hearing the news.
“It has been proven that our events are positive, educational and beneficial,” DeShazo wrote. “We strive to provide a safe space for everyone, and that should be something that we can all agree on.”
Orange County School Board member Alicia Farrant said that the cancellation was warranted.
“I think we need to make sure that we are raising the standard. We have a high standard of morals and dignity here in Orange County for our public schools,” Farrant said. “What happens outside of our public schools is on parents, but here in our public schools, as educators, we are held to a higher standard.”
Despite her support, Farrant said she had no part in the cancellation, adding that parents were the ones who contacted the Florida Department of Education over the incident.
“It makes me laugh that people truly believe that I have that much power. This was 100% a parental movement,” she said. “I was contacted by a multitude of parents last night who were up in arms and very concerned.”
News 6 spoke to a couple of parents at Boone High School Thursday. Michael Lorenzo believes it’s unfair that the event was canceled.
“There is a loss to the students, especially the ones that need it,” Lorenzo said.
Charity Reeves agreed.
“I don’t have nothing against it LGBTQ and that. They need to be accepted, they wanna be, let them be,” Reeves said.
News 6 has reached out to the Florida Department of Education and is awaiting a response.
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