F. Amanda Tugade
DES MOINES — An Iowa activist showed up to a school board meeting demanding answers about the outcome of an investigation of an after-school drag performance in May.
During public comments at Monday night’s Ankeny School Board meeting, Kimberly Reicks — who founded Iowa Mama Bears, an organization that expresses views against masks, COVID-19 vaccines, LGTBQ content and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — asked the board for an apology and resolution “to make sure that this doesn’t happen again on school grounds.”
Ankeny High School’s Gay Straight Alliance in May hosted the after-school drag performance as part of an end-of-year meeting, inviting guest performers from the Iowa Youth Parade Pageant, according to the school district at that time. Administrators did not give approval for the performance in advance and organizers did not follow protocol, the district said.
“Where’s the transparency in this?” Reicks asked. “How are we going to entrust you — the board members — to do what is right for us parents and make sure that the kids know what is right?”
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She also called out one of the guest drag performers, accusing them of being a “Satanic worshiper,” as a friend stood next to her, holding a poster that displayed images of the performer.
She questioned the drag performer’s outfit for the school performance — a black, one-shoulder leotard with nude tights and matching black boots.
To prove how “inappropriate” the outfit was, Reicks stepped away from the podium and took off her jacket and sweatpants to reveal the same outfit.
“I want to know: Does this outfit make you turn your head?” she asked, stepping away from the board and turning to the small audience gathered for the meeting. “Is this outfit appropriate for anybody here to see?
“Because if this makes your head turn, if this p—-s you off, then it should. Because this guy walked into our school, wearing exactly the same thing,” she added before a board member interrupted and asked her to address the board.
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She spun back around to face the board and said she had a point to prove.
She said she was “embarrassed to stand here with the outfit I have today. I want to prove that this outfit should not ever be accepted in our school any way.”
Immediately following the spring performance, the school district received negative comments on social media, but board members denounced online hate.
Reicks has repeatedly challenged the board’s decision and school policies, accusing the Ankeny Community School District in a lawsuit of retaliating against her after she spoke up against masking requirements. After a judge ruled against her, she appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.
She appeared with Gov. Kim Reynolds when the governor signed the law that outlawed mask mandates by Iowa schools, cities and counties.