(LibertySociety.com) – After spending eight months as the principal of John Glenn Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Dr. Shane Murnan has officially resigned. On the day he was hired, the Western Heights School District (WHSD) shared a Facebook post acknowledging that the district knew about charges against Murnan that were dropped over 20 years ago. No further information was provided, but reports surfaced that showed Murnan was previously charged with possessing child pornography while he was a fifth-grade teacher at another elementary school in the state.
Three months after Murnan was hired, the social media account Libs of TikTok drew national attention to the situation. Photos of Murnan dressed in drag and reading to children at a local library were posted to the account, identifying Murnan’s drag name as “Shantel Mandalay.” Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ryan Walters, immediately called for Walters to resign. He also praised Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik for using her platform to out Murnan.
On January 23, Walters appointed Raichik to Oklahoma’s Library Media Advisory Committee. He said that Raichik had a “much-needed and powerful voice as well as a tremendous platform” for Oklahoma students and families. She and other members of the committee will focus on flagging inappropriate materials found in the state’s school systems. Walters said that he and Raichik have been working together for over a year and commended her for the assistance she has provided in several investigations. Raichik’s appointment prompted backlash from PEN America’s Freedom to Read Program Director. She accused Raichik of targeting librarians when the position she was appointed to was supposed to provide support for librarians.
During Murnan’s tenure, he often worked off-site because of threats to the school from people outraged that he was not fired. WHSD hired additional security after the online exposure, but the threats continued. The district incurred an additional $65,000 cost when they eventually placed him on administrative leave.
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