Almost 20,000 people have signed a petition expressing their opposition to drag queens appearing in UK primary schools. The petition was started after an English primary school sparked fury among parents for inviting a drag queen to perform a show for children.
Hollymount Primary School in Raynes Park, South London, hosted the burlesque entertainer Dolly Trolley during its ‘This Is Me’ day last Tuesday as part of a week-long ‘celebration of diversity’. The controversial act donned knee-high leather boots and a low-cut sequin dress as pupils aged as young as nine were taught a dance. Pupils aged as young as five were read to by the drag queen.
It didn’t take long for parents to express their anger after learning of the drag queen’s visit when their children returned from school, with some taking to the UK online forum Mumsnet to express their concerns.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday last month, one mother, with a son and daughter at the primary school, told the paper that her daughter felt uncomfortable during the visit. She also said that parents were not told the drag queen would be visiting.
“We are usually told when an outsider will be visiting the school, but on this occasion we were not.
“My daughter said she felt weird and didn’t like it. She said a lot of the teachers were pulling funny faces when Dolly came out in a very revealing short beaded dress and thigh-high black leather boots,” she said.
“After the show, Dolly went around to the other year groups and read stories. We’ve spoken to both our children and they both said their friends all thought it was weird and inappropriate for their age,” she added.
87% OF PARENTS SAY DRAG QUEEN’S APPEARANCE ‘INAPPROPRIATE’
A poll was conducted on Mumsnet which found that 87% of almost 3,000 respondents regarded the drag queen’s appearance at a primary school as “inappropriate”.
The performer’s online videos and website promote a ‘raunchy’ act that has been performed at night-time cabaret shows and nightclubs across London and overseas.
On the performer’s website, Dolly Trolley is described as: “Completely bonkers, utterly delightful and always at 100mph, Dolly Trolley is a Yorkshire-born firecracker based in London.”
It adds: “She is known for high-energy drag and burlesque, fierce dance moves, and as a queer fitness icon with her workout phenomenon, Drag Aerobics.”
The concerned mother who spoke to the UK press added: “I have spoken to a few other parents. Only one I have spoken to was supportive.
“The others, including me, are all very unhappy with a few things. We were not warned that this was going to be happening.
“We have since looked Dolly up online and they have some very inappropriate – for children – content on their website and their social-media pages. Some of the images are very revealing and sexual. Essentially, they are an X-rated adult entertainer.”
“How is this person a good role model for our kids? Why did the school purposely not tell us about this? Due to their online content, I feel that this is a safeguarding issue.”
‘SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE AND VULGAR’
The widely-circulated petition on CitizenGo also refers to parents not being informed about the visit. It states: “Parents at the school were not informed that this performer would be visiting the school and, therefore, could not withdraw their children from the event. The school has a diverse mix of cultures and religions, and consequently, many parents were horrified that their religious, moral and cultural sensitivities were not being respected and that their young children were being exposed to such sexualised content.”
Pointing to the appearance of drag queens in other UK primary schools, CitizenGo added:
“This is not a one-off occasion. Several primary schools across the United Kingdom seem to think that inviting drag queens to perform in front of children increases awareness and tolerance of the LGBT community, without actually considering whether or not drag acts are suitable for young viewers. In one Scottish school, a performer with the sexually suggestive and vulgar name ‘Flo-Job’, who has a sexually explicit online persona, was invited to read and perform to young children.”
The petition concluded: “Children should not be exposed to such highly sexualised and offensive content. Sign the petition to the Secretary of State for Education and the Schools’ minister demanding that they issue guidelines for schools, banning the use of drag queens and other performances of a sexualised nature.
“With Pride month rapidly approaching, the Department of Education need to take prompt action.”