JOHNSTON, Iowa — Approval of a student-led club drew controversy at Monday night’s school board meeting in Johnston and the vote has been postponed.
The Turning Point-USA club was proposed by a group of Johnston High School students who felt their conservative-minded beliefs are not being heard within the school district. It would allow students with like-minded views to speak openly in a more comfortable setting. The club is directly associated with Turning Point-USA, a national non-profit whose mission is to educate and organize students to promote freedom.
The club brought a passion-filled group of students and parents both for and against it coming to Johnston High School. One student who opposed the group being added said, “With our education becoming more and more politicized due to forces beyond the board’s control we can at least avoid sowing seeds of division yourself by allowing these groups to proudly display our school’s logo in the district. In these times we need a board that will unite Johnston in the name of education and not one that will split us in the name of politics.”
A parent of a Johnston High School sophomore student claimed her son has been bullied for his conservative and Christian values. She said, “While we have been pushing so hard to include certain minority groups we are ignoring and even oppressing others. My son made a few new friends with similar beliefs but they are not as outspoken as he is. I’m told they stay quiet because they fear being targeted by students and even teachers.”
School board members decided they needed more information from the Turning Point USA national organization since it will be affiliated with the Johnston club. The item has been moved to April 25th. The club says it is open to all students but especially conservative-minded students who want a place to be supported.