Dan O'Donnell

Dan O'Donnell

Common Sense Central is edited by WISN's Dan O'Donnell. Dan provides unique conservative commentary and analysis of stories that the mainstream media...Read More


Middleton Drag Show Teacher Admits to Pushing Leftist Ideology in Class

A Middleton High School teacher whose drag performance during the school's Fine Arts Night went viral this week admits to using class time to pushing his left-wing views on students. Matthew Kashdan, who teachers French, recently told Multilingualism and Education in Wisconsin that he does not use a textbook or teach his students grammar but instead focuses his lessons on discussing climate change and colonialism.

“I don’t have a textbook, and I never would have a textbook even if I was offered it. I’m all about using authentic resources to curate authentic experiences for my students.

And I'm always really intentional with my students about like, we're not going to learn grammar, I will occasionally explicitly teach grammar because I do believe there's important things grammatically related that they can use to enhance their language skills. But I'm more about teaching the language through the culture."

Kashdan then explained that teaching through the culture often involves imparting his own political views on students, giving as recent examples lessons he taught on both climate change activism and European colonialism in Africa.

"We talked about like, French being the official language of France or these other countries, and maybe why that is, for example, we talk about like countries in West Africa and why their official language is French, and it's a product of colonialism," he said. "And depending on the age of students, we kind of dive into that and talk about that."

Kashdan also discussed having his students write open letters to government officials to advocate for action on climate change.

"[We used] a letter from an organization called Youth for Climate Change, located in Paris, students about the same ages then they can see like, okay, this is what they're doing so now I'm going to try to reproduce or use the things that we learned in class to write my own open letter," he said. "And what comes out of it is we learn lots of different structures to construct a letter, we learn how to write a professional letter, we learn lots of vocabulary related to the environment."

Earlier this week, video of Kashdan's drag performance during Middleton High School's fine arts night went viral, with social media users debating its appropriateness in a school setting.

"The Dan O'Donnell Show" reached out to the Middleton-Cross Plains School District for a statement on both Kashdan's drag show and his admission that he often abandons actual French lessons in favor of political indoctrination.

The district did not answer questions about Kashdan's classroom behavior, but issued the following statement on his drag performance:

Fine Arts Week is an annual event at Middleton High School that allows students and staff to showcase their talents in music, art, dance, and theater. The week is full of performances that are enjoyed by students and staff alike. Performances range from music to dance to martial arts, culinary arts, visual arts, language arts, and other arts that fit our extensive definition of The Arts.
Parent permission to attend Fine Arts Week events has never been required since the event's inception many years ago. Every year, the week ends with a staff talent show. Staff members sign up for their act with the Fine Arts Week Coordinator.
This year, an MHS teacher performed a routine in drag as part of the staff talent show. The school received one complaint about the performance from a parent. The school is reviewing protocols and processes going forward to make sure all perspectives are considered.

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