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Hempfield School District concludes drag show investigation

Findings show that the drag show was fully approved, but lacked appropriate supervision, the district said.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — After a month-long investigation, the Hempfield School District released its findings into the controversial drag show that occurred on April 25.

The district determined the Gay Sexuality Alliance club at Hempfield High School was given full approval to hold the event. The drag show was even publicized to the high school. 

However, the district determined that the drag show lacked appropriate oversight and supervision. The event drew swift backlash from parents when pictures and videos from the drag show went viral.

"This has nothing to do with LGBT people. It has nothing to do with the GSA club at the school," said Meridith Hilt, a mother of a first and eighth grader in the district. "This has to do with adults, who were in the high school, performing in a sexualized way for children."

“The LGBTQ community is a protected class, but that does not mean immunity from criticism," said one East Hempfield Township resident at a recent school board meeting.

The investigation also revealed a lack of professional judgement allowing the drag queens to continue the event, saying they were dressed inappropriately for a school setting.

The incident resulted in three staff members being placed on administrative leave.

Wendy Hutchinson said that if the GSA club was given permission to host the event, then they should be allowed to continue, as long as the event is supervised, and parents are made aware of what’s going on.

“Kids are starting to figure out who they are, how they identify, and they should be free to express themselves," said Hutchinson. "If it’s in a club or anything like that, with supervision.”

The school district says they will review its current policies on extracurricular supervision. However, the district says they cannot share the details of any disciplinary actions due to school staff's right to privacy.

The results of the investigation can be found on the Hempfield School District website.

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