The Columbia Public Schools (CPS) superintendent has written a letter to CPS families that apologizes to parents frustrated about the level of communication regarding a January 19th diversity breakfast event that included three drag queens who performed before district students.
The event at Columbia’s Holiday Inn Expo Center, which was organized by the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, has been blasted by Missouri’s GOP governor and attorney general and by some CPS parents.
Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood’s letter says that for some, the event demonstrated the importance of inclusion. He also apologizes to parents who’ve expressed frustration about the level of communication provided to parents. Dr. Yearwood’s letter says CPS will review its permission slip process that incorporates feedback from parents.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) says transporting students to a drag show likely violates state law. Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe has said that they wanted to reaffirm that Columbia is a community that supports all.
Dr. Yearwood’s letter also encourages “a return to civil and respectful conversation and further express my support of every scholar in our school district.”
Mayor Buffaloe has defended the January 19 breakfast, tweeting that “drag is a cross-cultural art form with a long and rich history that is fun and encourages self-expression.” The mayor says that as hate crimes against drag show locations and performers are being committed elsewhere, she and others wanted to reaffirm that Columbia is a community that supports all.