A newly-hired Oklahoma school principal is a well-known drag queen and was also previously arrested on child pornography charges, according to reports.
Dr. Shane Murnan was hired in June as the principal of John Glenn Elementary in Oklahoma City.
When Western Heights Public Schools announced Murnan would oversee 400 students daily, it acknowledged “previous charges” he faced that it said were “dismissed more than 20 years ago.”
The district addressed the controversy when it put up a post on Facebook.
“Dr. Murnan has been serving the field of education for over 25 years and has an excellent reputation,” the district said. He comes highly recommended by previous supervisors, colleagues and educators. He has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Education in Educational Administration and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration.”
The details of Murnan’s “previous charges” include an arrest for alleged possession of child pornography in the year 2001, according to a report at the time from The Tulsa World.
In August of that year, the then-30 year-old teacher for Stillwater Public Schools was arrested by police after they had previously seized his computer.
The Tulsa World reported: “Four images of adolescent white males performing sex acts with each other were recovered from the computer by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the affidavit said.”
Murnan was also hit with a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.
A judge later ruled that it was not possible to prove that people who were engaged in sex acts on a video on Murnan’s computer were underage.
He was not convicted of a crime in the matter and the marijuana possession charge was later expunged.
None of that deterred the district from hiring Murnan – nor did the fact that he moonlights as a drag queen by the name of Shantel Mandalay.
Meet Shane Murnan- elementary principal at @wh_isd.
Shane is a drag queen who performs for children and reads books about gender to kids while dressed in drag.
Shane was also previously arrested on child porn charges.
Would you want this person in charge of your kid’s school? pic.twitter.com/yNuZyt3HRK
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 30, 2023
The LGBT publication The Gayly profiled Murnan as “Ms. Shantel” in 2018 and noted he participated in reading to children while dressed in drag.
“I have always loved education and working with kids hoping to make a difference,” Ms. Shantel told the outlet. ”Now I’m able to combine both my passion for drag and education and hopefully change a child’s life by letting them know it’s okay to be whomever you would want to be.”
Shantel was also quoted as having previously said, “Drag Queen Story Hour is a chance for kids to be whoever they want for an hour with no questions asked. Our books are all chosen with the common theme of ‘it’s okay to be you.’”
The outlet also obtained a letter to concerned parents about Murnan from Western Heights Public Schools Superintendent Brayden Savage.
“I am writing to address a concern you may read about on social media,” Savage said in the letter. “We understand the situation may cause concerns and questions among parents, staff, and community members.”
In spite of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Murnan’s past and present behavior, Savage said he was tapped as a principal after the district followed “usual hiring practices.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.