“It Was a Blast!”: Teachers Fired For Attending Drag Show And Posting About It On Social Media

The double-edged sword of social media reared its ugly head in Texas recently when a longtime physical education teacher was fired for attending a drag show.

Kristi Maris had worked at the First Baptist Academy in Baytown for 19 years, but her night out came back to haunt her as soon as she shared about it on Facebook the following day.

A Night Out That Costs a Job

On July 13, Maris paid a visit to Hamburger Mary’s, a popular spot in downtown Houston that had always piqued her interest.

Hamburger Mary’s is known for its fun drag shows. Their website reads: “…Hamburger Mary’s is the best place in town to “Eat, Drink and be… MARY!” … with amazing burgers, fabulous drag shows, and nightly entertainment.  Ya’ll come visit soon!”

That night, Maris went to the place with a co-worker and her daughters. The teacher had such a good time that she didn’t doubt posting it on her Facebook account the next day. She posted the antics of the night with the caption, “This was a blast!!!!”

However, her bosses did not like the post at all. Despite working at the First Baptist Academy in Baytown for almost two decades, Maris and her co-worker were fired.

According to the school’s senior pastor, the two teachers had violated one of the school’s conduct clauses: “I will act in a godly and moral fashion at work, on Facebook, and in my community.”

In a televised interview, Maris admitted that she felt as though they had been treated like “criminals.” While she had agreed to the clause, she didn’t realize attending this event was going against school rules.

The following tweet was shared by Pooja Lodhia, ABC13 reporter, detailing the events:

Social Media Posts: A Guillotine For Many Workers

Workers getting in trouble for what they share on social media may not be as uncommon as you think.

In 2022, two professors from Monash University in Australia published a study titled “How a Facebook Update Can Cost You Your Job”. The authors collected 312 news stories, mostly from the U.S., about firings caused by posts on social media.

According to the study, Facebook was the social media platform referred to in most of these news stories. Also, among the 312 cases analyzed, the most common reasons for dismissal included racism, insensitive content, queerphobia, and political content.

How Social Media Reacted to The News

After the news of Maris’ firing quickly blew up, users took to Lodhia’s tweet to express their opinions on the matter.

“Private schools [have] their rules. She knew their doctrine and beliefs before starting the job. I don’t blame the school for dropping her,” says one comment.

“Not sure what she was expecting. You work at a religious school. I mean, come on,” replied another Twitter user.

“She did nothing wrong. She’s too kind for that school anyway. It’s unfortunate this happened to her. I wish her the best,” says one of the comments.

“Texas needs to be dragged into the present,” one joked in reply to the story on Reddit.

READ NEXT: Texas Students Refuse Pledge Of Allegiance After Being Taught Its Origins—And Teacher Accused Of Brainwashing Them

Disappointed But With No Regrets

While attending drag shows may cause controversy and concern among some Christians, Maris claims to be clear about her values as a teacher.

Speaking to ABC13, Maris was “heartbroken” by the school’s decision to end her contract.

“For almost 20 years, I’ve taught children to love each other. I’ve talked to them and told them, ‘You have to get along. God loves us all equally.’” Maris stated. “We should love everybody, and that’s what we’ve been teaching, but they’re expecting us not to do that,” she added.

Despite what happened, Maris doesn’t regret what she did. After all, she had a great time that night at Hamburger Mary’s.

“Oh yeah, I’ll do it again. It was too much fun, and it was good music!” said Maris while laughing.

Hamburger Mary’s Houston gives back

In response, Hamburger Mary’s hosted a drag show event on August 3 to raise money for the fired teachers and their families.

With the hashtag #Dragisnotacrime, they asked others to join to “help raise awareness that drag queens and the LGBTQIA+ community are not bad people”, sharing a message of love and acceptance for all. Currently, they have almost $11,000 of their $20,000 goal raised on GoFundMe.

This article was produced by TPR Teaching.


I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

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