CALLAHAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Cross Plains ISD is addressing concerns that an on-campus performer who asked students to follow him on social media has ‘disturbing’ content posted to his page.
Thursday, as part of National Red Ribbon Week, Cross Plains scheduled a group called Echo Dance Team to perform a routine for students that had anti-bullying and anti-substance abuse messages.
After the performance, one of the performers, identified as James with JLine Music, asked high students to follow him on Instagram.
Parents who later found out about the performance and saw James’ Instagram page were surprised to see pictures of him nearly nude with just the most explicit areas of his body barley covered.
One parent called the pictures “very disturbing” and several others are saying they’re concerned because they were never even notified of the performance at all.
In a letter addressing these concerns, Cross Plains ISD said that Echo Dance Team passed all background check requirements and school officials believe the performance itself was positive and appropriate for students.
However, the district is apologizing for the performer asking students to follow him on social media, especially given the nature of his content.
“The performance met expectations, but the aftermath of the individual’s social media has overshadowed a positive message for those in attendance,” a press release explains. “The performance was free of the content visible and associated with the individual’s personal social media page.”
Cross Plains ISD says they will now be even more vigilant when vetting performers in the future.
This is not the first time James and his associated dance crews have experienced backlash for the nearly nude photographs.
Parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, had similar concerns after their students began following him after a performance at their school in 2022, and another school district cancelled the performance before it even took place after learning about the backlash.
Instagram age-restricted the JLine Music profile after receiving complaints and reviewing the content. Now, only accounts with the age set to 19 or older can access the pictures.
Read the full statement from Cross Plains ISD below:
As part of National Red Ribbon Week and a focus on drug-use prevention, Cross Plains ISD scheduled Echo Dance Team, a part of Echo Dance Company, to present a message to the students and staff.
The Echo Dance Team performs a routine which uses music, dance, and discussion to connect with students, highlighting the importance of anti-bullying, respect, responsibility, following your passion in life, and leading an alcohol and drug-free life-style. The performance was approved based on referrals, viewing recordings of previous performances, and online research about the content of their performance. No red flags were found about their message, intent, and performance routines.
The performance was positive and students were active and engaged. The performance was free of inappropriate words, songs, and dress attire.
One performer of Echo Dance Team shared his personal social media handle with high school students in passing upon completion of the show. He did not announce it as part of the performance to any of the audiences.
Cross Plains ISD takes pride in maintaining a positive and ethical learning environment. All evidence leading up to and during the performance of Echo Dance Team indicated the performance mirrored the positive and ethical learning environment. The individual’s personal social media account is not reflective of the performance displayed to staff and students.
All members of Echo Dance Team complied with CPISD visitor procedures prior to entering the campus.
The performance met expectations, but the aftermath of the individual’s social media has overshadowed a positive message for those in attendance. The performance was free of the content visible and associated with the individual’s personal social media page.
CPISD apologizes for this situation and is reviewing the vetting and screening procedures to improve the process in which public speakers are selected.