Feb 8, 2022 - News

Johnston school board members support pro-Trump Turning Point group

Parents speak at Johnston school board meeting
A parent speaks at a Johnston school board meeting on Feb. 7, 2022. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Some Johnston school parents are condemning two new district board members who were seen in photos attending a kick-off event for a local Turning Point USA high school chapter.

Driving the news: At a school board meeting Monday night, parents raised concerns about board members Clint Evans and Deb Davis' attendance at the Johnston High School event last week. It was held at Taste of New York.

  • The photos were shared with Axios.

State of play: Turning Point USA is a prominent pro-Trump youth group formed by Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist and radio host.

  • The Johnston chapter's Instagram bio says it is "holding teachers, administrators and students accountable. Helping stop the spread of socialism and big government in the classroom. Roll Drags!"

The big picture: Local chapters of the organization are growing in Iowa, including in Mason City, and across the country.

Between the lines: Evans and Davis were elected into office as part of a wave of conservative school board members last fall.

What they're saying: Kaycee Schippers, a mom and Democrat in the district, said school board members should be impartial.

  • She believes Evans and Davis' support of the group sends the wrong message to teachers in the district and fears the chapter will spread "hatefulness" at the high school.
  • "Knowing that this hate organization is infiltrating our school system — this feels visceral to me," Schippers said.

The other side: Evans said he listens to Charlie Kirk and attended the kick-off event because he was familiar with the group.

  • He said he supports its formation and its conservative values, but he doesn’t support any "extremism."
  • Meanwhile, Davis declined to comment.

What's next: The Johnston school board may consider approving the group in April.

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