Drag Event at Florida High School Canceled After Call from State

Drag Event at Florida High School Canceled After Call from State

Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson
March 22, 2023

An after-school event set to take place tomorrow at an Orlando High School featuring drag performers has been canceled after a call from the Florida Department of Education, a school spokesman has confirmed.

"Donuts and Drag with Mama Rose" was advertised on the Instagram page of "Boone High's Queer and Ally Alliance". According to the flyer the event was set to take place tomorrow, Thursday, March 22, 2023 "after school at 2:30 in Room 611 Media Center" at Boone High School in Orlando. But as of this afternoon, the event has been canceled.

"The event Donuts & Drag was not a drag show, but an opportunity for the students to hear a positive message of acceptance and love," Principal Hector Maestre said in an audio message to parents and given to The Floridian. "This was to be the third year the speaker has addressed this club. As a result of a call from the Florida Department of Education today, the event has been canceled. The Department questioned whether the event was age and developmentally appropriate and indicated any administrator, teacher, or staff member in attendance may be investigated and jeopardize their professional license."

"Mama Rose", also known as "Mama Ashley Rose", is a man named Jason DeShazo. DeShazo is president of the Rose Dynasty Foundation who state on their website their mission is "to provide a safe and family friendly atmosphere for all people no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, and/or religion, through mentoring, fundraising, fostering community, and promoting awareness of resources. Rose Dynasty embodies the message that you are “Loved, Accepted, and Wanted.”

According to a flyer posted on his Facebook page, DeShazo will be performing at an "All Ages Drag Show" on March 31 at Wales Pointe Restaurant and Bar in Lake Wales, Florida. DeShazo spoke at a committee hearing in Tallahassee today claiming new Florida laws are causing "Nazis" to show up at his events and causing him to be "falsely accused of things that are inappropriate."

In a statement on his Facebook page, DeShazo says he is "shocked and dismayed today to learn that the third annual Drag and Donuts event with the Boone High School QAA was abruptly canceled when the Florida Department of Education threatened to strip the licenses of any teacher, administrator or staff having any involvement."

DeShazo says it has been "proven that our events are positive, educational, and beneficial."

Orange County School Board Member Alicia Farrant disagrees.

"Hundreds of parents rose up and said this event is not appropriate for children," Farrant told the Floridian in a phone interview. "Parents have said enough is enough."

In his statement, DeShazo calls this an "attack on the LGBTQ+ community and harmful to queer youth and their families." He says at his events he strives to "provide a safe space for everyone, and that should be something that we can all agree on.

"This is the same as inviting a female stripper to come in her outfit and mentor students over donuts," said Farrant. "If he wanted to come dressed as a man to talk about queer issues that's one thing, but normalizing drag is crossing the line."

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Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a videographer and investigative reporter based in Fort Lauderdale. Chris covers breaking news, and local and state politics, and focuses on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His work has been cited on Fox News and Epoch Times.

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