A unique LGBTQ-affirming charter school in Homewood, Alabama has been forced to add security after a far-right candidate for governor aired ads that its principal says are “scaring the hell out of our kids”, Al.com reports today.
The ad has been aired by businessman Tim James, who is mounting a far-right primary challenge to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. It targets the Magic City Acceptance Academy, which al.com says is “believed to be the only LGBTQ-affirming charter school in the Southeast.”
As Raw Story reported, James, the son of former Alabama Gov. Forrest 'Fob' James, claims to be battling "a beast with three heads," which he identified as critical race theory, transgender rights and the use of yoga as exercise in public schools."
Al.com reports that “the James ad is a 30-second spot that starts off with the candidate claiming, “there is a war going on between common sense and crazy.” He then criticizes transgender athletes and Ketanji Brown Jackson’s response during her Senate confirmation hearings after being asked to define a "woman."
“The ad continues with James saying, ’Now here in Alabama, we chartered the first transgender school in the South using millions of your tax dollars. The faculty put on a drag show for children. That’s not education, it’s exploitation. It’s got to stop. It’s time to fight back.’”
Gov. Ivey appointees on the AL Public Charter School Commission funded Magic City Acceptance Academy w/ $2M in the state budget. The buck stops w/ the governor. As governor, Tim James would have opposed the formation of this school and would have vetoed any budget that funded it.pic.twitter.com/ERm2yjkJgb— Tim James (@Tim James) 1649714149
The James campaign emailed Al.com that “we find it unconscionable to use the concept of protecting kids as an opportunity to expose them to drag queen shows and normalize perversion.”
Michael Wilson, the academy’s school principal, had this to say, as reported by Al.com:
“The Tim James ad is nothing short of an adult bullying children,” said Wilson, 69, who oversees a school of approximately 240 students in grades 6-12. “It’s causing more anxiety. You are talking about kids who are four times more likely than their straight counterparts with suicide ideation.”
Wilson said the ad is ‘scaring the hell out of our kids,’ and he’s calling for it be removed,” the report said. He said the drag-queen was a school fundraiser not unlike beauty pageants used for that purpose by schools across the country.
Wilson also compared his school’s event to a “Powder Puff” football game popular at James’ high school alma mater in Tennessee. In that event, girls participate in a flag football game while the boys perform as cheerleaders.
Alabama Democratic Party vice-chair Patricia Todd, who served as the state’s first LGBTQ lawmaker in the Alabama Legislature from 2006-2018, added this, according to al.com:
“What (James) is doing is extremely dangerous to youth. If anything happens, such as a hate crime to those kids, that will be on his hands.”