If a parent activist can make news by showing up in an inappropriately revealing outfit at a school board meeting — dull affairs, comprised almost entirely of adults — what was a drag performer doing in the same outfit in the district’s public schools, “entertaining” students?
Plenty of people would like to know the answer, not the least of them Kimberly Reicks. She’s the founder of conservative parent activist group Iowa Mama Bears, according to the Des Moines Register.
On Monday, she donned a leotard similar to the drag performer’s uniform during her appearance before the Ankeny Community School Board in Ankeny, Iowa.
Reicks’ attire wasn’t just to prove she could wear it better. Rather, she had questions about the school’s LGBT alliance group hosting an after-school drag performance in May that featured this:
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 24, 2022
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 24, 2022
Despite the provocative, sexually suggestive nature of the performance, the Register reported in June that the district only tsk-tsked the LGBT alliance for not following protocol for the members-only performance and not getting administrative approval for the show.
Meanwhile, the school board seemed more concerned about “disrespectful” messages about the performance appearing online and voiced their support for LGBT students.
Not that they had much to fear from the media, who happily backed them up. Consider this framing from the Register: “On May 24, the day after the performance, both the conservative media site the Iowa Standard and the Twitter account Libs of TikTok posted about the drag performance. According to the Washington Post, Libs of TikTok takes social media posts from LGBTQ people and frames them in an incendiary way to cause outrage and impact public policy.”
The Washington Post report cited by the Register was (of course) Taylor Lorenz’s controversial Libs of TikTok smear piece in which establishment media’s sloppiest tech journalist doxed the owner of the Libs of TikTok account and claimed that presenting school indoctrination as it actually happens is somehow incendiary.
If the Ankary School Board was going to show more concern over the attention being paid in what was going on in its public schools by Libs of TikTok than it was to what was actually going on in its public schools, Reicks used Monday’s meeting to refocus their attention.
“Is it appropriate for an exotic dancer to seduce the children in our public schools?” she said during the meeting, asking the board to formally apologize and pass a resolution “to make sure that this doesn’t happen again on school grounds.”
“I’m embarrassed to stand here in the outfit I am in today, but I have a point to prove,” she said.
“I want to know: Does this outfit make you turn your head?” Reicks said, addressing the audience. “Is this outfit appropriate for anybody here to see?”
“Because if this makes your head turn, if this pisses you off in any way, shape or form, then it should. Because this guy walked into our school, wearing exactly the same thing,”
Reicks was then interrupted and asked by the board to address them, not the crowd.
Fine, then: “Where’s the transparency in this?” she asked them. “How are we going to entrust you — the board members — to do what is right for us parents and make sure that the kids know what is right?”
The short answer is that parents shouldn’t entrust the Ankary School Board with anything; in their initial response, the school seemed less concerned about the sexually suggestive performance than they were about the fact it had leaked to Libs of TikTok and there might be “disrespectful” messages on social media.
Those can and will go away, but the invective wasn’t exactly aimed at the students — or, for that matter, even the drag performer. The anger was directed at a school administration that seemed mildly concerned about breaches of protocol and the lack of approval — not over the fact that this happened inside the walls of their high school as part of an after-school activity.
We trust our schools to act in loco parentis, not as buddies, pals or allies of the students. There’s good reason for this: Minors need adults to make certain decisions for them, particularly on school grounds.
At a school-board meeting — where the adults gather to decide, in part, how they’ll act in loco parentis — Reicks’ leotard was wholly inappropriate.
She knew it, the crowd knew it and the school board knew it.
If a sense of duty to their student charges can’t move the board to serious action, maybe the embarrassment will.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.