Primary school drag storytime event cancelled amid backlash from parents

Melbourne's Woodleigh School cancels drag event after parents claim lack of transparency.

Primary school drag storytime event cancelled amid backlash from parents
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A Victorian school has cancelled a drag storytime event after complaints from parents who said they were kept in the dark about it.

Woodleigh School had scheduled drag events for children to participate in International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

They had invited drag performer ‘Frock Hudson’, also known as Dean Acuri, to read stories to children.

But parents complained they only learned that a drag queen would be reading books to primary children when they heard about it in the media.

The event had been promoted in a school newsletter advising parents that “guest Frock Hudson aka Dean Acuri will spend time in the library reading stories to the children”.

“The term ‘drag queen’ was conspicuously absent from the newsletter, as if it were deliberately hidden,” one parent said.

“The announcement was so discreet that many families may not have understood its implications.”

The mother complained that parents were not given any choice about whether their children participated in the event.

“I know of at least five families, including ours, who aren’t comfortable with this event. It seems only fair that parents should be fully informed about these events and given a choice as to whether their child will attend or not,” she said.

A school spokesperson, citing “safety”, confirmed they had “disappointingly and most reluctantly decided to cancel the planned visit by the previously arranged storytellers”.

“However, Woodleigh remains steadfast in our belief to foster inclusivity and diversity within our community,” the spokesperson said.

It comes as graphic images from Acuri's public social media was circulated by parents online with the images of the performer posing with sex toys and in various stages of undress adding to concerns.

Melbourne newspaper The Age however reported that Arcuri has a working with children check after a similar event at Eltham Library featuring the performer was cancelled and moved online.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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