The finale at a New York City public school talent show brought many in the audience to its feet, but not for the reason you’d expect.
Parents and children as young as five years old were stunned when the act billed as a “Special Surprise Performance!” took the stage on May 25 at the public school Learning Expo at the Museo del Barrio auditorium, the Daily News reported.
Following two hours of children singing, playing instruments and showing off what they learned in school, a grown man dressed in a red wig and a black, sequined dress took to the stage to perform a shocking, erotic drag show performance.
Raquel Morales, whose fifth-grade son attends a public school in District 4, filmed the routine on her cell phone.
“People were horrified,” she told the Daily News. “It looked like a nightclub performance. I’ve been asking for an apology from the district for the last week, and they’ve been ignoring it.”
The performer, who lip-synched a song by the Puerto Rican entertainer Iris Chacón, was identified as Public School 96 Parent Association President Frankie Quinones. District 4 Superintendent Alexandra Estrella emceed the event which was attended by about 200 families of students from across the district, according to Morales.
From the Daily News:
At that moment, Quinones, who parents said performs in drag clubs around the city, took the stage in a sparkly black dress and pumps and began to shake his hips as a slinky Iris Chacón mambo blared from the public address system.
Parents said families’ laughter turned to disbelief and then dismay as Quinones opened his mouth and exercised his tongue in a suggestive manner while lip-syncing the Chacón number.
Then he dropped to the ground and began to writhe on floor. He rolled onto his back, spread his long legs and flashed his white underwear to the shrinking crowd.
“I saw her doing things like sticking her legs out and shaking her bottom and it felt weird. I don’t know why they would do that for an elementary school,” J.D., Morales’ 10-year-old son, shared.
Morales told columnist and Fox News host Todd Starnes the school district said the performance was about LGBT awareness, but has not issued an apology to the parents and children in attendance.
“Once he got to that part it was chaos,” Morales told Starnes. “People were yelling and leaving. A lot of parents were saying had they known this was going to happen they would have taken their kids out after they had performed.”
“I left the show the minute he started sticking his tongue out,” another parent told the Daily News. “I had my children with me and I wasn’t going to allow them to see that.”
Neither Estrella nor PS 96 Principal David Pretto responded to requests for comment and Quinones reportedly could not be reached, according to the Daily News.
But Education Department spokesman, Michael Aciman, said the “performance was inappropriate and the school has spoken with the parent.”
Morales pointed out that she is “100 percent against discrimination” and her objections had nothing to do with the LGBT movement.
“The superintendent was the emcee – and she has a responsibility to protect all children,” she told Starnes. “That wasn’t a child performing. It was an adult.”
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