Empower Wisconsin | April 19, 2022
Last week, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed legislation that would have created universal parental school choice.
The bill would have ended income and participation limits in the highly successful and popular alternative to Wisconsin’s faltering public schools.
Evers also killed a parental bill of rights measure and other legislation that checked the outsized and growing power of educrats and teachers. The package of bills grew out of parental frustration over radical curricula, including everything from so-called critical race theory to elementary school lessons on human sexuality.
Here’s Exhibit A of why universal school choice and parental rights legislation is so important:
Matthew Kashdan, the Middleton High School French teacher who performed in drag for students at the annual “Fine Arts Week,” apparently believes that it is his duty as an educator to introduce kids to the drag queen life.
As Empower Wisconsin reported, Kashdan strutted onto the auditorium stage in a high-cut, blue sequinned dress, red boots and blond wig, lip-syncing and dancing to “Rain on Me” by pop divas Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.
“It’s our responsibility as teachers to really show students who we are, but to also show them that they can be whoever they want to be,” Kashdan told the liberal Cap Times. “Another reason why I wanted to do it was to say you know what, it doesn’t matter, I can be your teacher, you can respect me in that way, and I can also be a drag queen and have fun and put on this costume and that’s fine arts.”
That’s fine arts?
Not to some parents in Middleton.
“I send my children to school and entrust them to teachers that I have to believe are professionals who won’t destroy their innocence for their own pleasure,” a Middleton-Cross Plains Area Schools parent wrote in an email alerting conservative talk show host McKenna. “If MATTHEW KASHDAN makes a decision to perform his drag show at school, what else does he do in his classroom with a roomful of children? What kind of educators thought this was appropriate? Drag shows are “fine arts”? If a teacher is a pole dancer or stripper, can they also perform for my children?”
Perfectly reasonable questions. But to the liberals running public education in this state, questioning drag queen acts in high schools — even drag queen story hours for preschoolers and kindergarteners at public libraries — is just more conservative bigotry.
Regardless of Mr. Kashdan’s (or Ms. Jamiex Jaffery when “living her leading lady fantasy”) idea of duty, it is not a teacher’s responsibility to “really show students who we are.” It’s not about teachers and their private lives — their drag fantasies or anything else. It’s about students. It’s about education. Not indoctrination.
For Kashdan, it should be about teaching French. But he has injected much more of his personal life into his classroom.
For some, that’s just swell. For others, it’s not appropriate, particularly in a state public education system where only 27.5 percent of students are reading and writing at grade level, and 27 percent are proficient in math.
If school districts were more concerned about math and engineering than social re-engineering perhaps the proficiency scores wouldn’t be so bad.
That’s why giving parents everywhere real choices in the education of their children is critical. And that’s no theory. Evers’ failure to recognize that these choices are a right, not a privilege, just might cost him a second term as governor.