TDSB Drag Queen Storytime: ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ coming to public school near you

A school in Toronto is in the news and people want to know the reason for it. According to the reports, the public school of Toronto board is no longer looking for the permission of parental for pupils in order to attend drag queen storytime events. This decision has been made after parents of the students of an elementary school raised concerns that the consent form implied the Pride activity was different from other in-school performances. As per the parents, the performances were risky too and they did not want their children to get hurt.

TDSB Drag Queen Storytime

TDSB Drag Queen Storytime

The changes of direction come when already a lot of tension is going on over the commemoration of Pride in schools, including the York Catholic District School Board voting against a motion to fly the flag at headquarters and a call for the provincial anti-Pride walkout on Thursday, 1st June 2023 when schools hoisted the rainbow flag. The reports further added that parents of pupils at Bruce Public School located in Leslieville get an email which they received last Friday and a paper form on Monday that showing their approval was required for a forthcoming “excursion”.

It was an afternoon of storytelling in the gym of the school by Gila Munster who is known as a Toronto drag queen and is a Toronto District School Board-vetted performer who has come up at other educational institutions. For those who don’t know let them tell that the “Excursion Forms” are usually given for field trips off school property. While the Pride Day events of the school planned a march around the block and a flag ceremony, permission was sought particularly for the drag queen storytime.

According to the reports, in a follow-up email to the school community, Kristina Wessenger-Macdonald acknowledged several families had shown their concerns with the process but that was not the school’s or personal decision. She described that the superintendent of the area informed her that the recent board-wide directive needed all drug queen appearances to be treated as a needed consent of the parents. Though after Toronto Star inquiries to the principal, Belinda Longe, superintendent, and the TDSB, the school board acknowledge on Wednesday, 7th June 2023 that at the first direction suggested the forms of the permission.

The mouthpiece of Ryan Bird states that “At some elementary schools, Drag Queen Storytime events have been conducted. As we recognize this may be a new experience for some of our younger pupils, we are making sure that their families should know about it. Should they have wishes or questions to have their kids take part in different activities at the time of the event, they can directly contact the educational institution.”

Sarika Das

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