A PAISLEY school found itself invaded this week, engulfed in a giant cloud of perfume, blinded by eye-stinging glitter and blacked out by a covering of eye shadow so dark power generators had to be drafted in from neighbouring towns.

But did Glencoats Primary School’s decision to invite drag artist Flow along to talk to Primary One children do any actual harm?

The drag queen was accompanied to the school by Nationalist MP Mhairi Black, who also spoke to the class about her experiences of growing up in the town, to mark LGBT history month.

But the visit sparked a backlash from some parents and Education Secretary John Swinney, who claimed the drag queen’s social media account (which contains sexual content) should have ruled out the invitation in the first place.

Renfrewshire Council has since apologised. But should Flow have been allowed to pour out his thoughts in the direction of Paisley’s young impressionable?

Probably not, but not for reasons of public morality: how could youngsters possibly be harmed by the appearance of a bloke in a wig and padded bra – but of protecting them from sheer tedium.

Drag is a presentation rather than an entertainment or art form. The digital television hit RuPaul’s drag race, as a spectacle, has far less depth and content than a Blackpool end-of-pier act in October.

I’ve never been able to recognise an apparent skill set in a man simply because he can successfully apply make-up. (Women do it all the time and are rarely praised for their efforts).

I never could understand the attraction of the deeply unfunny Danny La Rue. Lily Savage managed to limp along but how much skill/training does it take to attach false eyelashes, a thick base coat and pull on a pair of support hose?

I can’t for the life of me understand why people flock to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok, applauded for achieving little more than a close approximation to femininity.

And how hard is it to lip-synch? Not that hard, considering my six year-old granddaughter Emmy manages it effortlessly.

It’s easy therefore to imagine these Primary Oners being bored out of their little five-year-old skulls, listening to someone drone on about how they used to covet their big sister’s Carmen Rollers as soon as they could lift them.

Yet, here’s the thing. I’d want Em and chums to be visited at school by a drag artist. I don’t see any problem at all in young children becoming aware that some men like to dress up as women, and that it’s entirely harmless.

I have no problem in a local drag queen (preferably one without an adult social media presence) turning up all glossed, coated and sprayed at a school and entertaining children.

Children should understand our society is truly rainbow, and we should offer up all colours of the spectrum for viewing.

What some of the radio phone-in listeners argued, however, was that the drag queen’s appearance was “too sexual” and I worry, along with Mhairi Black, that this smacks of homophobia.

Perhaps we need to remind such critics of the hugely positive impact drag has in panto and theatre. Now, I know I’ve just said I’m not a fan of drag – but I am when it’s placed in context, such as the panto stage.

There is an argument that drag in panto debases women – but it won’t be made by anyone who one ever saw the tackety-booted dames created by Jimmy Logan or Johnny Beattie and reckoned they were anything other than a send up of ugly blokes trying hard to be pretty.

And the modern-day dames, such as Johnny McKnight and Darren Brownlie (aided by McKnight’s clever, funny, socially aware scripts) set out to capture a heightened essence of femininity, just as Stanley Baxter once did so wonderfully.

In fact, attach a beautifully crafted character to the drag performance and it brings theatre alive, as was evidenced in the case in Crocodile Rock, Andy McGregor’s play about a young man from Millport who grows up to be a drag queen. (This play should be toured around Scottish high schools).

And wasn’t Kinky Boots one of the best theatre musicals of the past decade? Drag doesn’t have to feature poster boys for homosexuality. Panto star and drag artist Neil Thomas has proved this to be the case.

So invite drag artists into schools. But make sure the boys take an act with them. It’s all very well kids being hit full in the face with fabulousness and gorgeousness, but let’s not have them out of their faces with boredom.