After inviting Vernetta Alston, an alumni of the school and an openly gay councilperson for Black History Month, Immaculata Catholic School both canceled the event and closed the school for the day.
Classes at Immaculata were canceled today after officials heard “a number of groups” planned to protest the school’s inviting a Durham City Council member to speak at a Black History Month event said The Durham News Observer.
Alston is one of six openly LGBTQ candidates elected to office in North Carolina in 2017.
Durham County District Court Judge Shamieka Rhinehart and City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson were also scheduled to speak at the school to celebrate Black History Month, a city official said.
“We were all scheduled to speak at different times this month,” Johnson wrote in a text. “They told me that they’ve canceled the whole Black History Month program.”
The pastor, Christopher VanHaight, told parents on Thursday: “As a pastor, I cannot place our Imaculata students into this contentious environment,” reports Wral.com.
Watch Alston’s campaign speech below.