A controversial “Pride” event held on Princeton Independent School District property featuring drag queens performing for children and adults was toned down compared to similar events, due to new policies implemented by the district that protect kids from exposure to sexualized content.
“Princeton Pride 2023,” hosted by LGBT advocacy group Princeton Texas Diverse, was held Saturday at Lovelady High School in Princeton ISD.
The event was emceed by Miss Gay Texas and featured performances by multiple drag queens. Other advertised entertainment and vendors included music, food, a “queer banned books drive,” and a bounce house.
PTX Diverse stated that they are not affiliated with the North Texas school district, but local parents and community members still questioned why an event celebrating lesbian, gay, and bisexual behavior, as well as “transgender” lifestyles, was allowed on school property.
School Board President Cyndi Darland told Texas Scorecard Princeton ISD officials have recently updated the district’s facility use policy to “protect children as best we could” from activities that are sexual in nature.
The policy is viewpoint neutral as required by law but prohibits inappropriate, vulgar, or obscene language, materials, and content.
Princeton ISD’s policy also prohibits sexual activity or sexually explicit performances in front of minors—behavior recently outlawed by the Texas Legislature in Senate Bill 12.
Groups that violate the district’s policy may be denied future rental privileges.
Darland attended Saturday’s event to personally monitor the activities of the participants and vendors and ensure they complied with the policy requirements.
“It worked as far as toning down their behavior,’ Darland said. “They have cleaned up their act.”
She said the drag performers did not wear their usual revealing costumes or sing sexually explicit lyrics, and the vendors did not display overtly sex-themed items seen at other “Pride” events among the toys, cookies, and rainbow flags for sale on Saturday.
“These events and their promoters often lure in children with promises of goodies and fun,” the grassroots Christian organization New Columbia Movement posted on Facebook following the Princeton Pride event. “Of course, the real goal is to groom kids into their sterile culture, emptied of morality and innocence.”
A number of local organizations routinely rent school district facilities. Darland said the Princeton ISD school board will continue to review and revise its facility use policies as needed to meet the community’s standards and protect children from sexualization.
“I will continue to care for these students and their families,” she said.