An unsettling revelation showcases New Hampshire’s Manchester High School West, under Mayor Joyce Craig‘s administration, diverting $4,000 from COVID Relief funds, aka the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, towards a school-based Pride event on June 2nd.
As reported by NH Journal, a concerning $500 of this funding has been earmarked to hire drag performers to engage the high school students.
This questionable use of funds, approved under the city’s Community Event and Activation Grant (CEAG) program, points towards a questionable trend in the left-leaning educational system. Manchester School District Superintendent Jennifer Gillis, a part of this liberal paradigm, has defended the event by citing its optional nature for students. She claims that such events align with the “community-developed strategic plan” and fall within district policies.
In Gillis’ words, “Events such as this are consistent with the goals of our community-developed strategic plan, and in line with district policies.” The Superintendent goes on to confirm that such an event has been well-attended in previous years and this time, organizers received funding from ARPA via the city of Manchester.
The application for these funds was made by Manchester West art teacher Richella Simard. Beyond payment for drag performers, Simard’s budget included funds for a photo booth and film, a PA system, tables, chafing dishes, and an additional $500 for “Pride decorations and swag”. This list brings the total estimated cost for the event to a staggering $6,000.
Now, let’s take a pause here to think. This money is COVID Relief funds, money meant to support and rehabilitate communities struggling through the devastating effects of a global pandemic. Yet here we have educators in our public school system, and even more troublingly, a city mayor, who see it fitting to direct these funds toward an extravagant pride event.
Tina Kim Philibotte, the chief equity officer for the Manchester School District, champions this misdirection of funds, stating that such events are “essential” for LGBTQ+ students’ lives. However, in doing so, she turns a blind eye to the potential misuse of crucial federal relief money.
However, these actions, stemming from the ideologies of the left, unfortunately, reflect broader trends seen under Democrat leadership. Mayor Joyce Craig, now intending to run for governor, clearly supports such spending. Yet, isn’t it the governor’s role to safeguard public funds, ensure they are used wisely, and advocate for the best interests of all constituents?
In situations like these, it’s essential to ask ourselves: are our leaders really upholding their duties responsibly, or are they more concerned with pushing a particular agenda? Is this the kind of leadership we want to see moving forward? Our answer will shape the future of our communities and our nation.