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Vickie Paladino doubles down criticism of drag storytelling in schools

An embattled Queens councilwoman is doubling down on her disdain over drag queens reading books to city school kids.

Councilwoman Vickie Paladino refused to bow down to many of her council colleagues and other critics and apologize for claiming a taxpayer-funded program is “drag queen degeneracy” that is “grooming” young kids.

“I would like to make one thing very clear: I am NOT apologizing or redacting my statement against using taxpayer dollars to fund Drag Queen Story Hour in our public schools.” Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino said in a statement Friday night. “This type of political, social, and cultural indoctrination of our little children – often without parental consent – is completely unacceptable and inappropriate, and I refuse to stand for it.”

As the Sunday Post first reported last week, parents and others, like Paladino, have raised concerns that New York is showering taxpayer funds on a group which sends drag queens and kings into schools to read children’s books to promote inclusivity — often without parental knowledge or consent.

Drag queen Harmonica Sunbeam read books and sing songs with students at Star Academy and The Neighborhood School.
dragstoryhournyc/Instagram
Paladino says that the drag storytelling programs are "grooming" kids.
Paladino says that the drag storytelling programs are “grooming” kids.
Edna LeshowitzZUMA

City Council members set aside $80,000 for Drag Story Hour NYC from their discretionary budgets this year — more than tripling the $25,000 earmarked in 2020.

Paladino, who has stoked controversy among her council colleagues before over COVID-19 vaccination policies and other matters, compared the drag storytelling to “child grooming” — causing outrage among many Democratic lawmakers and LGBTQ activists.

Mayor Eric Adams has defended the program, and the City Council’s LGBTQIA+ Caucus has asked for Paladino to be removed from her committee assignments and be formally censured.

Mayor Eric Adams has directly defended the program.
Mayor Eric Adams has directly defended the program.
dragstoryhournyc/Instagram
Drag queen Yuhua Hamasaki gets ready to read with students at Tompkins Middle School.
Drag queen Yuhua Hamasaki gets ready to read with students at Tompkins Middle School.
dragstoryhournyc/Instagram

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams also slammed Paladino over her remarks and said the Council will consider taking action.

“Any form of hate, including transphobia, has no place in this city, and certainly not in this Council,” she said Thursday. “The Council is looking into what further action may be warranted.”

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