KQ2 story on Drag Queen Story Hour receiving unprecedented response

Emotions are strong from those both in support and against a scheduled Drag Queen Story Hour at the St. Joseph Public Library.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 10:03 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 10:27 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) --  A KQ2 news story on a scheduled Drag Queen Story Hour at the St. Joseph Library has been met with unprecedented online response.

In 24 hours, there's been more Facebook feedback on this one story than almost anything else KQ2 has ever published online, including the scandal at the St. Joseph School District.

As of Wednesday morning, KQ2's original posted story has received nearly 820 comments, more than 710 reactions and more than 330 shares.

There are hundreds of comments on both sides of the issue. Included in those in support of the Drag Queen Story Hour are many applauding the library's efforts to promote diversity, others from parents say they plan on bringing their children to the event and some saying anyone reading to children is a good thing.

Those who have commented against the program have have said it's inappropriate introducing the concept of a drag queen to young children, others citing biblical reasons why the program is wrong and comments from those who believe the children who attend could be in danger of receiving inappropriate sexual advances.

Library director Mary Beth Revels clarified what will be happening at Drag Queen Story Hour, scheduled for Tuesday, September 10.

"The drag queen we have invited will be reading two different books to the children," Revels said. "The kids are going to be dancing. The parents are going to be dancing. Our drag queen isn't going to be touching any of the kids. This isn't a sexualized program."

The Drag Queen Story Hour is the fourth program in a series called "Celebrating all of us." Revels said the other three programs included one on American Sign Language, another on children with Downs Syndrome and a third on blindness.

 Revels said the hprogram is targeted to families with children between the ages of 3-8, though everyone is invited. She says the role of a library is to offer a variety of programs providing education, information and personal development.

"If someone doesn't think this is appropriate for their children to attend, that is fine," Revels said. "They shouldn't bring their children to this program. The people we are inviting to this program are the people who want to be there.

Due to the feedback from the announcement of the event, Revels said she is expecting a much higher attendance at the next library board meeting. It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27 at 5 p.m. at the Downtown Library.

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