Drag Queen School Principal Under Fire After Parents Learn Of His Past Child Sexual Abuse Material Charge

Parents are threatening to pull their children out of a school in Oklahoma after learning the principal was previously charged with the possession of child sexual abuse materials. Despite backlash, Western Heights Public School District in Oklahoma is defending its hiring of Shane Murnan, stating that “usual hiring practices” were followed.

Murnan was approved to take on the role as the Head Principal at John Glenn Elementary in June, even though the Board of Trustees was aware of his past. In a Facebook post published after his hiring, the Western Heights Public Schools Facebook page noted the “office charges” amongst the paragraphs of praise, but insisted they were dismissed.

“This afternoon, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Dr. Shane Murnan for the position of Principal at John Glenn Elementary School. The district recently learned about previous office charges that were dismissed more than 20 years ago,” it stated. “Dr. Murnan has been serving the field of education for over 25 years and has an excellent reputation.. It is highly recommended by previous supervisors, colleagues and educators.”

While working as a fifth-grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School in 2001, Murnan, then aged 30, was arrested for possessing child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and six grams of marijuana.

Two weeks prior to his arrest, police seized a number of devices, compact discs, and floppy discs from his home, along with a video tape titled “Something Very Big.” Digital forensics conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation uncovered images of male children engaged in sex acts.

Following news of the charges against him, administrators at the elementary school suspended Murnan with pay. He was later freed on a $20,000 bail pending an arraignment for the felony charge of possessing the child abuse materials.

The charges against Murnan were initially dropped by a Special District Court judge after he ruled the individuals depicted in the imagery could not be proven with certainty to be below the age of 18. But after several hearings, an Appeals Court judge determined that “it is clear from a review of the pictures that they do represent child pornography.” 

Despite this confirmation, the charges against Murnan would ultimately be dismissed.

Following the scandal, Murnan resigned from his position at Will Rogers Elementary in May 2002 and only faced a misdemeanor drug charge.

Around the same time, Murnan began performing as a drag queen under the moniker “Shantel Mandalay,” as reported by V1SUT.

After beginning his drag career, Murnan continued his role in educator positions. From 2007 to 2015, he was employed as a teacher at Little Axe Elementary School. Murnan subsequently moved through the Prairie Queen Elementary School system; starting as teacher, teacher trainer, and eventually landing the role of Assistant Principal. This new position was in a much larger district, with over 30,000 students enrolled. 

Oklahoma City Public School data reveals that Murnan’s positions have been held in schools where students were particularly vulnerable due to language barriers and economic disadvantages.

While working in his role as an educator, Murnan used his “Shantel Mandalay” Facebook page to both engage in school-related subjects, and post inappropriate personal content, including photos of him and his current lovers or boyfriends in sexual moments.

In 2018, Murnan co-founded Oklahoma City Drag Queen Story Hour. Many of the events Murnan was involved in organizing took place within the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System during COVID-19 lockdowns and featured Murnan reading to young children. 

On Facebook, one user, who identifies as female-to-male transgender, wrote that she met Murnan when she was 16 years old when he was doing a youth outreach program “at the Wreckroom on Thursdays.” She said Murnan had her and others make “drag outfits” and “became a friend, a role model, and a mentor.” She said “that was also the day I knew I wanted to do drag.” She calls Murnan her “drag momma,” and her profile indicated that she is now taking testosterone.

Photos on Murnan’s drag page show him in close proximity to small children both in his work as an educator/school personnel and as a “drag queen.”

In addition to his drag persona, Murnan applied to receive credentials as a Christian Minister in 2014.

Reduxx has also learned that in 2020, Murnan was arrested after driving while severely intoxicated.

A criminal probable cause filing with Murnan listed as the defendant was issued by the State of Oklahoma in September 2020 while he was employed as Assistant Principal with Prairie Queen Elementary School. 

While the filing has been highlighted by other outlets, the reason for the arrest was previously unknown until Reduxx obtained the affidavit filled out by two highway patrol officers. 

Trooper Carls Broden pulled Murnan over just after two in the morning for what he suspected to be drunk driving. 

The affidavit reveals that Murnan “had trouble rolling down the passenger side window” when the officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle to question him. 

The officer noted that Murnan had bloodshot eyes and that there was a strong odor of consumed alcohol emanating from inside his vehicle. When asked for his license, Murnan handed the officer his debit card. He was “having a hard time retrieving his license,” and the officer asked him how much he had to drink. Murnan responded with slurred speech. The officer directed Murnan to exit the vehicle and enter the patrol’s unit, and “was very unsteady on his feet and failed to maintain balance” while exiting his car and walking to the officer’s car. When asked for his license again, Murnan told the officer he had already given it to him, though the officer had told him to hang onto it before directing him to exit his car. 

Murnan responded: “Probably too much,” when the officer asked him how much he had to drink that night. 

He alleges having begun drinking at seven earlier that night and having his last drink at eleven, three hours before driving. He said he had four margaritas and three vodka-tonics and told the other officer present, Trooper Lisa Jorgensen, that he was an elementary school principal at Prairie Queen.

“All throughout the contact, Murnan was repetitive asking the same questions multiple times, even after they had been answered.” 

Murnan was placed under arrest just before 2:30am. 

Murnan’s disturbing history resurfaced this week after popular social media account LibsofTiktok shared information on X (formerly Twitter). In the post, LibsofTiktok tagged an account belonging to the school’s current superintendent, Brayden Savage, who then deactivated her account without responding. 

Since news of Murnan’s past have gone viral, parents and members of the Western Heights School District community have begun raising concerns, with some threatening to pull their children out of the district.

Superintendent Savage has since addressed the controversy in a letter circulated to parents and obtained by the Daily Caller, stating that: “We understand the situation may cause concerns and questions among parents, staff, and community members.” Savage noted that the “usual hiring practices” had been followed, and that a felony criminal background check had been conducted on Murnan.

Speaking to local Fox 25, one mother stated she would remove her two kids from the school if Murnan remained the principal.

The revelations about Murnan come as a wave of legislation has hit multiple US states regarding preventing drag performances from having close proximity to children. In most cases, the moves were made after unsettling incidents involving drag queens and minors.

Earlier this year, Reduxx learned that a drag queen and convicted pedophile had been charged after teaching dance to children in violation of his conditions as a registered sex offender.

Dwight Evan Chisolm, 31, a lifetime registrant of the Wisconsin sex offender registry, performed under the drag name “Sno Wight.” In September of 2019, Chisolm was charged with child enticement and sexual intercourse with a child after abusing a 17-year-old boy he groomed online through both the popular gay hookup app Grindr and Snapchat. 

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Yuliah Alma

Yuliah is a former researcher and journalist at Reduxx. She lives on the American east coast, and is an avid reader and book collector.

Yuliah Alma
Yuliah Alma
Yuliah is a former researcher and journalist at Reduxx. She lives on the American east coast, and is an avid reader and book collector.