As school districts complain about a lack of funding, the Round Rock Independent School District used taxpayer funds to buy rainbow-themed memorabilia for the first-ever Round Rock Pride event. 

A public information request revealed that the district spent $640.53 on the LGBT event. 

The taxpayer-funded swag celebrating sexual identities included rainbow handheld fans, costing more than $300; an Amazon order of rainbow stickers that cost nearly $40; and 125 stickers printed by the Round Rock ISD Print Shop at a cost of nearly $300. 

Images taken from the event showed a drag queen wearing tight clothing and dancing sexually in front of children. One child could even be seen handing money over to the performer. 

Additionally, someone took a photo of one of the fans Round Rock ISD brought to the event. The fan read, “We All Belong, Round Rock ISD, #Itstartswithus.”

In its response to the information request, the district claimed that there was no charge or fee paid by the district for the booth at the event, no wages or overtime pay for any Round Rock ISD employees to operate the booth, and that no district funds were used to pay for Round Rock ISD police who were seen in uniform at the event. 

“The Round Rock ISD police were paid for their services by the Round Rock Pride Festival; therefore, they did not remain at the pride booth during the event,” reads the email.

Round Rock ISD Trustee Danielle Weston told Texas Scorecard that the use of district money on these events is just one reason the district has dropping enrollment. 

“Round Rock ISD trafficks in gaslighting. First, they say they’re broke. Then they waste money on swag for an event where drag queens are featured twerking in front of children. Then they tell you it’s ok because it wasn’t very much money,” said Weston. “This is just another reason the school district is losing students as more and more families lose confidence in the adults in charge of the district.”

Round Rock ISD Trustee Mary Bone shared similar sentiments, telling Texas Scorecard, “Round Rock ISD is cutting $20 million from the budget and should be laser focused on the education of children, not spending tax dollars exposing children to dirty dancing drag queens. This is another example of poor administrative decisions that are politically motivated and have students fleeing our public schools in search of a rigorous education.”

Williamson County GOP Chair Michelle Evans shared with Texas Scorecard that it seems the district is more concerned with pushing ideology than educating its students.

“Just days before discussing a planned 25 percent cut to extracurricular activities in the district, RRISD is irresponsibly wasting taxpayer money on promoting sexual activities and identities at an event featuring a performance by a man who posts hardcore porn on his social media,” explained Evans. “It is now clearer than ever that RRISD devalues education and achievement, elevating ideology over being good stewards of public education funds.”

Texas Scorecard reached out to Round Rock ISD but did not receive a response by publication. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.