While there might be a war on education raging in politics, there’s an even larger war on teachers being fought on social media. Nothing is private on the World Wide Web, and many users have taken matters into their own hands showcasing videos and social media accounts that expose teachers and the controversial things happening inside schools. This happened recently to Matthew Kashdan, a high school teacher in Wisconsin that has gone viral for his drag performance in a packed auditorium filled with students and parents.
See the performance shared by Libs of TikTok below.
Matthew Kashdan, the teacher at the center of the drag performance, dressed up as a woman recently for Middleton High School’s song and dance performance. In the leaked video sent by one outraged parent, you can see the teacher in his get-up for the performance. Strutting on the stage in a flashy blue-sequined dress, red boots, blonde wig, makeup and all, the drag performance showcased the teacher lip-syncing and dancing to “Rain on Me” a pop hit from Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.
The video has been shared by multiple outlets and is drawing outrage from users across social media. Collectively, many commenters on the video shared via Libs of TikTok on Twitter have denounced the act, saying it doesn’t belong in the school. According to reports from The Federalist, the angered parent who leaked the footage said “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?” However, the school has also addressed the incident, claiming that only one parent has spoken out in defiance of the drag performance.
Supporters of Kashdan’s drag performance feel that comparing his dance to that of strippers is ridiculous. In subjectivity, the performance was no more sexually driven than what many students perform in dance competitions. Furthermore, men have long been dressing in drag as a mockery to get laughs. But the caveat to all of this is that Kashdan does, in fact, seem to be a professional drag performer, and that isn’t sitting well with many people.
While social media is condemning the drag performance, local news reports suggest that the majority of the local community has stepped up in support of Kashdan’s skit. The teacher spoke with WKOW to discuss the attacks against him that were perpetrated after the video went viral. Kashdan alleges that since then, he has been called a groomer and pedophile. As for his decision to go ahead with the drag performance on stage in front of high school students, Kashdan said “I’m like, this opportunity could be cool to show my art, my version of art. But it’s also a cool opportunity for me to show students like — who cares? Just go be yourself.” He also told reporters that he has received an “incredible amount of support” from the school district and students.
But with that one parent complaint, the procedures for the event look to be changed going forward. The event – a longstanding one at the school – traditionally welcomes teacher performances at the end of the affair. Kashdan allegedly checked with the event organized ahead of his drag performance to make sure his skit was ok, however, the school admitted there has never been any formal protocol before. In an email to families, school officials announced they would be changing the process starting next year.
Some are calling it homophobic, some are calling it outright lewd and unforgivable. The drag performance shines a light on just one of the many polarized battles surrounding education. While some states are looking to further teaching and training regarding gender stereotypes and sexual education, others are looking to remove them from schools. It’s a war that looks to rage on for quite some time, as America is torn in regards to education and teachers.