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Drag show at Hempfield High School continues to draw both criticism and support from Lancaster County community

Two weeks after videos surfaced of a drag show at Hempfield High School, members of the community expressed their views at a school board meeting.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — During a Hempfield School District board meeting on Tuesday, members of the Lancaster County community expressed their thoughts after Hempfield High School's Gay Sexuality Alliance Club hosted a drag show at the school two weeks ago.

Videos of the show that surfaced online feature professional drag queen performers. During the show, performers wore tight, revealing clothes and danced provocatively.

"It's a form of child abuse, and it's about indecency in our schools and lack of leadership," one parent said at the meeting. 

Since the event, the Hempfield School District started an investigation and placed three staff members on administrative leave.

However, some people in Lancaster County call this a reach.

"There have been bomb threats on campus that have caused lockdowns, and we haven't gotten emails about that, so it seems like a little bit of an overreaction," said community member Jamie Beth Cohen.

Cohen organized a silent protest in support of the LGBTQ+ community ahead of the Hempfield School Board meeting on Tuesday.

She called out the school district for what she said was its lack of transparency.

"For the district to say that they didn't know it was happening when the announcements went out over the PA [system] every day of the way leading up to the show – seems to me like not a lot of transparency," Cohen said.

Meanwhile, other LGBTQ+ supporters argue that the drag show was not inappropriate, and it's hard to make assumptions from a short video on social media.

"There was zero percent flesh showing at that event, and so it's really discouraging to hear rumors flying around," said Halley Weaver, an East Hempfield Township resident.

Despite the alleged rumors, some parents still aren't in agreement with this event.

"The LGBTQ community s a protected class but that does not mean immunity from criticism," said another East Hempfield Township resident.

The Hempfield School District will continue to investigate this incident and will not provide any updates until the investigation is complete.  

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