LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A staff member has been placed on administrative leave following an after-hours event for the Gay Sexuality Alliance Club at Hempfield High School on Monday, according to a statement posted on the Hempfield School District's website.
School administrators say they are investigating after becoming aware of a serious situation concerning a social media post, photos and videos of a performance that occurred Monday, April 25 during an event for GSA. Administrators did not further explain what the event was.
An online website, Harrisburg 100, first reported on the event-- describing it as a drag show performance featuring professional dancers.
The GSA Club brings together LGBTQIA+ and straight students to support each other and provide a safe place to socialize, according to the description on the 2021-2022 Hempfield Club/Activity List. Additionally, the club members work together to improve the school climate for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or identity expression.
"We are taking the incident seriously in our ongoing investigation and follow-up actions," according to the district's statement. "We are appalled at what took place and in no way condone this type of activity in our schools. Neither the dress of the invited guests nor the performance was appropriate in our school setting."
The after school event caught the attention of state Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) who took to Facebook after speaking twice on the issue with the Superintendent for Hempfield School District.
Sen. Aument is sponsoring a bill that would require schools to identify sexually explicit content in school curriculum and notify parents if their child's coursework includes such content.
Then next school board meeting for Hempfield School District is scheduled May 10 at 7 p.m.
Below is the full statement from the Hempfield School District:
"The Hempfield School District administration was made aware of a serious situation that took place at the high school on Monday, April 25, after school hours. Administration was notified of a concerning social media post and photo, and later videos, of a performance that occurred during an after-school event for GSA (Gay Sexuality Alliance) Club students. Immediately following the notification, an investigation into the incident began.
First and foremost, the administration team apologizes to students, parents, and the community on behalf of those involved in this event. We are appalled at what took place and in no way condone this type of activity in our schools. Neither the dress of the invited guests nor the performance was appropriate in our school setting.
We are taking the incident seriously in our ongoing investigation and follow-up actions. It is important to district administrators that the district has the trust and confidence of the community, and we realize that an incident such as this completely undermines that trust. We commit to completing a thorough investigation and holding those involved accountable, up to and including disciplinary action that is commensurate with any findings. Currently, an individual has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Since this is a personnel issue, there will be certain information the district is unable to share with the public.
We respectfully request that while the appropriate district personnel investigate and address this serious matter, individuals refrain from speculation and furthering currently circulating misinformation that can get in the way of a thorough and accurate investigation."