(LifeSite) Dr. Shane Brent Murnan is the newest elementary school principal within Oklahoma’s Western Heights public school district. Murnan, a 52-year-old man whose drag persona is very publicly known as Ms. Shantel Mandalay, now has total authority over more than 400 students from pre-K through fourth-grade at John Glenn Elementary School in southwest Oklahoma City.
Murnan, depicted below with Western Heights Superintendent Brayden Savage, is thrilled to have a “new district and new respect.”
Principal Shane Murnan and WH Supt. Brayden Savage, publicly available on Murnan’s Facebook page.
Teacher Murnan was previously arrested for possessing child pornography
In August of 2001, Murnan, then a 30-year-old, fifth-grade teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was arrested for possessing both child pornography and drugs. Two weeks prior to his arrest, Murnan’s electronic devices were confiscated by police. Despite the teacher’s efforts to delete images, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) was able to recover at least four images of children engaged in sex acts.
From there, some unexplainable legal wrangling began in which Payne County Special Judge Phillip Corley ruled that prosecutors had not proven Murnan had possessed child pornography, claiming it could not be definitively proven the children in the photos were underage. Payne County prosecutors appealed Corley’s decision and temporarily prevailed. Payne County Appeals Court Judge Dave Allen, in his ruling, stated, “It is clear from a review of the pictures that they do represent child pornography.”
Next, Payne County District Judge Donald L. Worthington reversed the reversal, dismissing the child porn charge. Payne County prosecutors gave up, choosing not to appeal. In the end, it appears there was never any disagreement about the existence of the pornographic photos on Murnan’s computer, yet the charge was dropped. Was this a behind-the-scenes plea agreement to allow Murnan to accept only the drug charge (marijuana) and retain his teaching certificate?
After a short probation period on the drug charge, Murnan’s record was expunged in October of 2003. He used 2004, 2005, and 2006 to launch his Shantel Mandalay persona into the world of cross-dressing pageants, such as Miss Gay Oklahoma, before heading right back to the classroom.
Despite child porn charge, Murnan continued teaching in underprivileged schools
From 2007–2015, Murnan was a classroom teacher at Little Axe Elementary School, a site of approximately 550 students within a small, rural district in central Oklahoma serving primarily economically disadvantaged children. From there, Murnan moved to the much larger (approximately 32,000 enrolled), more urban, increasingly progressive and failing Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) district as teacher, teacher trainer/instructional coach, and eventually assistant principal at Prairie Queen Elementary School. Prairie Queen is an underperforming school that serves a population that is 82.3 percent Hispanic and 96.5 percent economically disadvantaged. Most parents speak limited English and 69 percent of students are English language learners. These are vulnerable kids.
In late 2020, during Murnan’s time at Prairie Queen, the state entered a new Criminal Probable Cause Initial Filing with Murnan as the defendant. It is unknown at this time what crime is or was being investigated but the case was assigned to Judge Kevin C. McCray.
And now Murnan is the man in charge of John Glenn Elementary School in the Western Heights district (southwest part of the Oklahoma City metro area). The district of approximately 2,750 students has been in turmoil since 2021 when the state temporarily took over due to years of financial mismanagement and noncompliance. To simplify, the district gets a lot of funds, spends significantly more than the state average and continues to fail children.
Western Heights district level data from OSDE school report cards.
Murnan’s John Glenn student population is also majority Hispanic, English language learners and overwhelmingly economically disadvantaged.
Murnan founded and operates organization to promote Drag Queen Story Hours
In 2018, Murnan and two others formed and founded Oklahoma City Drag Queen Story Hour, Inc. to promote events throughout the state. By the time the lockdowns started, the organization was teamed with the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System, and Murnan, in drag, was reading age-targeted indoctrination to small children online through the library’s Facebook events.
With quotes like “You just look one way on the outside and feel another way on the inside, and that’s okay,” and themes like the worried child who has two dads with a Mother’s Day party approaching at school, residents should question whether tax dollars should still be going to their public libraries.
Beyond Oklahoma City Drag Queen Story Hour, Inc., other business registrations associated with Murnan include Mandalay Holdings LLC, S.B.M. Enterprises LLC, and a trademark filing for something called Brief Invasion.
Murnan regularly and publicly links his role as educator with Shantel Mandalay
Within both social media and related to his adult performances outside of school, Murnan makes regular connections between his drag persona Mandalay and role as a public school educator. Around Easter, he publicly posted the following on his drag queen’s Facebook page about his previous bad choices, being an educator and playing “Dr. Bunny MandaEgg” for the children at Prairie Queen Elementary School.
Publicly available on Facebook page of Shantel Mandalay
Murnan’s alter ego reposted a promotional bio for the Pride Charity Gala 2023 which described him as follows: “Shantel is a force to be reckoned with. By day, she’s an Assistant Principal, molding young minds, but by night, she’s the life of the party.”
How many parents at Prairie Queen were aware that Murnan was posting pictures of their children and their children’s activities at school to his drag queen’s publicly available social media? Apparently, the OKCPS district didn’t seem to mind.
In fact, for years, the most popular publications among the state’s gay population, such as The Gayly and The Oklahoma Gazette, have been highlighting Shantel Mandalay the drag queen and identifying Shane the educator or principal as the man behind the makeup. It seems many were aware of this dual personality within public education, but were parents ever informed?