DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - A Catholic school in North Carolina invited a black lesbian alumna to speak at a Black History Month event, but canceled the event and classes due to threats of protest.
The Herald-Sun reports Immaculata Catholic School canceled classes Friday after officials learned “a number of groups” planned to protest the talk by Durham councilwoman Vernetta Alston. Alston said Thursday that the school’s move sends the message that black voices can be canceled.
Father Christopher VanHaight told parents the cancellation prioritized student safety. He hasn’t specified what upset the groups.
Alston is one of six openly LGBTQ candidates elected to office in North Carolina in 2017. Councilwoman Jillian Johnson, who was also scheduled to speak at the school, says she was told the Black History Month program is now canceled.