The decade's most triggering comedy
A new LGBTQ charter school in Alabama is attracting straight black kids whose families see it as a way for their kids to escape Birmingham’s beleaguered regular public schools, The Daily Wire has learned.
Magic City Acceptance Academy, a grade 6-12 public school designed to cater to LGBTQ students, boasts of providing a “brave learning environment and LGBTQ affirming culture for all.” But with Alabama’s traditional public schools ranking among the worst in the country, straight students are flocking to the school in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood.
“Some kids are not gay but they go there to get out of the inner city schools,” a source inside the school who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Daily Wire.
The source said most of the school’s approximately 240 students are “queer,” upper middle class white kids, but “then you see some kids who present more like inner city school traditional kids, probably there to get out of Birmingham schools.”
Several teachers at the school use they/them as their pronouns. A picture posted to the school’s Facebook page shows teachers performing in drag, then conservative gubernatorial candidate Tim James to denounce the school in a campaign ad as a case of “exploitation” of children and “not education,” and calling it a “transgender public school.”
Magic City, which opened last fall, is one of only nine charter schools in deep-red Alabama.
The source said the straight students’ families don’t like the sexual and gender indoctrination, but subject their kids to it, anyway.
“Not all of them are on board with the leftism, particularly the black parents,” the source said.
The situation underscores the need for more charter schools in the Yellowhammer State, said Jason Bedrick, an education research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
“This is a great example of why we need more school choice,” Bedrick said. “The current charter laws are too restrictive so we only end up with a small number of schools which are not necessarily all that the people want.”
But parents looking to expose their children to academic rigor may be disappointed in Magic City, according to the source who spoke to The Daily Wire. The school has half-days every other Friday, and was closed to in-person learning in January and February due to COVID-19 fears even as traditional public schools remained open.
Unlike other local charter schools like KIPP which have found academic success through rigor, Magic City uses purported trauma to make school a low-stakes affair, the source said. If students don’t want to take a test, they can leave, a source said.
“Everything is shrouded in compassion: We have to be very kind to our kids because they’ve experienced trauma,” the source said. “What does that mean? If there’s a test, they can just remove themselves from the class, if they say they’re ‘triggered.’”
Attendance is abysmal — among students and staff, the source said.
“Half the kids don’t show up on any given day,” the source said. “There are 12 seniors and there will be days where three to four seniors are present. A lot of the staff takes a lot of time off, because these are people that like to say they’re ‘taking care of themselves.’”
Magic City Principal Michael Wilson did not return a request from The Daily Wire for attendance or test score data.
But in an interview with local press, Wilson blasted James’s characterization of the school for “scaring the hell out of our kids.”
“You are talking about kids who are four times more likely than their straight counterparts with suicide ideation,” Wilson said, according to Alabama.com.
The controversy led to a New York Times article, headlined “A Haven for LGBTQ Students in the Heart of Alabama.”
“Hallways at the academy are festooned with rainbows and affirmations. ‘You are beautiful,’ posters say. ‘You are loved,’” the Times article gushed.
The school is run by a group called Birmingham AIDS Outreach, which “also runs a medical center that serves many LGBTQ patients, including some whose treatment involves hormone therapy,” the Times reported.
Wilson shrugged off the backlash prompted by the school’s drag show.
“I mean, I guess we learned a lesson that we don’t post a lot of pictures anymore,” he told the Times.