School district hires principal who moonlights as drag queen, was previously arrested for child pornography

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The newest elementary school principal within Oklahoma’s Western Heights public school district reportedly moonlights as a drag queen and has a criminal history.

The crime for which he was previously arrested is child pornography. First reported by V1SUT, Dr. Shane Brent Murnan, 52, had his personal devices confiscated by police back in 2001 on suspicion of possession of child pornography.

At the time, Murnan was a fifth grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Two weeks after his devices were confiscated, Murnan was arrested.

At the hearing, Appeals Court Associate Judge Dave Allen said that it was “clear from a review of the pictures that they do represent child pornography.” One year later, Payne County District Judge Donald L. Worthington dismissed the charge against Murnan.

Murnan’s attorneys maintained that he obtained the pictures by “accident” and that the ages of the children in the photos could not be “proven.” According to reports, due to the charges, Murnan lost his teaching job.

However, his record was expunged and the charges were dismissed after he completed probation for a drug charge in October 2003.

In 2007, Murnan became a school teacher at a rural Oklahoma school district. In 2016, he moved to an elementary school position at Oklahoma City Public Schools. From 2020-2022, Murnan worked as an assistant vice principal before now becoming a principal at John Glenn Elementary School.

For two decades, Murnan moonlighted as a drag queen named Shantel Mandalay. In a letter to parents, Brayden Savage, superintendent of Western Heights Public Schools, wrote, “I am writing to address a concern you may read about on social media. We understand the situation may cause concerns and questions among parents, staff and community members.”

Savage claims that “usual hiring practices” were followed when vetting Murnan, including checking references and conducting a felony criminal background check. The letter said that a “safe learning environment” was the district’s priority.

After getting his record expunged in 2003, Murnan spent the next three years launching his Shantel Mandalay persona.

Late in 2020, while Murnan was working at Prairie Queen Elementary School, the state entered a new criminal probable cause initial filing with Murnan as the defendant.

It is unknown what the crime is or what was being investigated, but the case has been assigned to Judge Kevin C. McCray.

In a social media post welcoming Murnan to the school, Western Heights school district acknowledged the charges previously brought against him, saying, “This evening, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Dr. Shane Murnan for the Head Principal position at John Glenn Elementary. Recently, the district has been made aware of previous charges that were dismissed more than 20 years ago.

“Dr. Murnan has been serving the field of education for more than 25 years and has an outstanding reputation. He comes highly recommended from previous supervisors, colleagues and educators.”

Back in June 2023, The Blaze reported that the school board for the Western Heights School District in Oklahoma held a meeting to decide on who would be filling administrative positions at schools in the area.

The meeting that Murnan was selected to become the principal for a school with hundreds of young children was not made public, whereas most school board meetings are open to the public.

In January 2020, the Oklahoma Gazette, an LGBTQ publication, wrote of Mandalay, “During the day, Ms. Shantel [Mandalay] is an elementary school teacher named Shane, which he said was very tough when he first started.”

Other LGBTQ-themed outlets based in Oklahoma have published stories featuring Mandalay and made references to the performer’s daytime career in education.

All of these references support reports, including a report from Libs of TikTok, that Murnan is the man behind Mandalay, but none has confirmed it.

In a 2018 article entitled, “For the love of queens and kids,” the Gayly implied that Mandalay’s life as a “teacher” prepared the drag queen for reading stories to children. Mandalay told the publication, “I have always loved education and working with kids hoping to make a difference. Now I’m able to combine both my passion for drag and education and hopefully change a kids’ life by letting them know it’s okay to be whomever you would want to be.”
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Comments

Susan

Don't kid yourself, people who hire people like this are no different than the people they hire, they've just been better at hiding it.

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