Groups of Pennsylvania school children have reportedly been taken to a pantomime play that starred a drag performer without permission from parents, who were only made aware of the general details of the field trip to the performance.
According to the blog Broad and Liberty, several school districts in Chester County took students to see a production of Alice in Wonderland from the People’s Light Theatre that starred drag artist Eric Jaffe.
In a public Facebook group, a post warned that parents had not been informed their children would be seeing a play involving a drag artist, nor that the kids would be required to wear masks throughout the whole of the performance, either.
“Downingtown Area School District’s permission slip (see below) for the field trip did not even include the name of the performance,” Beth Ann Rosica wrote for Broad and Liberty. She included a photo of a permission slip which indeed does not specify the name of the performance.
“While some districts did include the name of the show, they did not state that their children would see a drag queen performer,” Rosica goes on to explain. “Nor did they state that every child would require a mask. This is despite the fact that the districts are not currently requiring masks for children at school, and some children have mask exemptions that may or may not have been accommodated. Parents were not given enough information to make informed decisions about whether their child should attend.”
However, when asked for comment on the unsettling situation, the school districts appear to have simply shifted blame to parents for not looking into the performance themselves, where they would have likely found Jaffe’s information as he was highlighted by marketing materials as the focal point of the performance.
“Sixth grade students from the West Chester Area School District did attend the performance of Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Panto at People’s Light and Theater. As part of People’s Light and Theater’s current health and safety guidelines, masks are required for all those attending indoor performances regardless of vaccination status. Students and staff attending the performance were provided masks and did follow this policy,” the district said in a statement.
“In advance of the performance, families were informed that students had the opportunity to attend a contemporary, pantomime version of Alice in Wonderland and given permission slips to return. The actors’ biographies and acting credentials were not included with this information but were accessible on the People’s Light and Theater website.”
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