During Literature Day at Rocky Top Middle School on Friday, drag queen Jessica L’Whor attended the school’s event after an invite from a student. The goal of the day was to discuss a variety of guests’ careers and how they pertain to literacy. However, after the discovery of a drag queen being a part of the event, many parents disapproved of Jessica discussing her occupation.
Jessica, who gave the shortened name Ms. Jessica to students because she felt her stage name was not appropriate for school, used the day to commemorate the differences and the very real diversity in the world. She read Horrible Harry and brought up how bullying effects students.
Jessica told KDVR she had kids confide in her about their bullying experiences and thank her for going to the middle school to shine a light on the fact that it gets better.
An estimated 34 percent of gay, lesbian or bisexual kids face bullying at school. A JAMA research letter based on 2015 CDC data found that about 40 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning high school students reported seriously considering suicide during the prior year, compared to almost 15 percent of heterosexual adolescents.
Some parents, however, were not fond of Jessica discussing her career at the school because of the school’s lack of notification. One parent told KDVR she would have not let her child attend school that day because of the drag queen at career day.
Another stated, “This person is an adult entertainer and is talking to 12-year-old students about something that’s adult.”
Principal Bahanna apologized for not letting parents know of those who will be a part of Rock Top’s career day and stating how next year a full guest list will be provided to parents before the event.
This article originally reported that Ms. Jessica attended Career Day, not Literature Day, based on what was reported by KDVR.