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Is Taft High School’s Turning Point USA chapter done?

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Taft High School’s Local School Council meets today. One issue that might come up? The Turning Point USA, or TPUSA, chapter that administrators shut down last week. 

Started by Prospect Heights native Charlie Kirk a decade ago, the right-wing nonprofit says it has 1,400 college and high school chapters nationwide. 

But none are in CPS, according to TPUSA’s tracker

After 41st Ward GOP committeeman Ammie Kessem shared news the Taft chapter was starting on her official Facebook page Dec. 5, principal Mark Grishaber released a statement the next day saying the Northwest Side School would not allow any student clubs promoting racial intolerance. 

Nora Flanagan, a Northside College Prep teacher, told City Cast it was one of the best responses she’s seen: quick, clear, and categorical. 

Flanagan, a fellow at inclusive democracy organization Western States Center, has consulted schools across the country on how to respond to students signaling white nationalist ideology over the last 20 years — which she’s seen more of since the 2016 election

The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have flagged TPUSA for its links to extremists and for promoting racism. 

So is the Taft TPUSA chapter really done? Seems like it. 

After the club initially said on its Instagram page it wouldn’t give up, the page let followers know over the weekend it would soon be inactive and encouraged them to follow the new Cook County activism hub account

“They can say whatever they want on their Instagram story. There’s their freedom of speech, but they don’t get to say whatever they want in a school,” Flanagan said. “There are all sorts of contexts in which freedom of speech is not unlimited.”

A Taft TPUSA student organizer told us Monday night that he was awaiting directions from the organization on our interview request. We’ll keep you posted.

👉 Attend or stream Taft’s LSC meeting at 6:30 p.m. 
📍 See more TPUSA chapters near and far. 
📖 Check out the white nationalism in schools toolkit Flanagan co-authored.


▪️ The city could offer Anjanette Young a $2.9 million settlement over the wrongful police raid. City Council votes Wednesday. [CBS Chicago]

▪️ All types of fans reunited at C2E2 this weekend. [City Cast Chicago]

▪️Psst, only one day left to vote City Cast Chicago for your fav local podcast and newsletter. [Chicago Reader]

▪️ Why is Michael Jordan on the Wheaties box…again? [Wheaties]


+ TODAY: Lincoln Yards open house
Check out plans for the North Side megadevelopment from 4:30–6:30 p.m. 

+ THURSDAY: Boxing showcase in East Side neighborhood
See the boxing matches at Rowan Park Thursday from 7–9:30 p.m.

+ THIS WEEK: “That’s Weird, Grandma” in Andersonville
See the variety show written by CPS students at the Neo-Futurist Theater.


Want to see local performers share stories AND break out into song? 

Karaoke Storytellers is THIS Sunday featuring: 

👔 Lory Litefoot, aka Lisa Beasley
🍱 Korean Vegan Joanne Molinaro
👓 City Cast’s own Jacoby Cochran

Plus, City Cast Chicago will have a table with swag and chances to win the merch! 

Don’t be shy — come say hi 👋

Image provided by Jacoby Cochran

👉 Come to Schubas Sunday at 7 p.m. Proof of vaccine is required. 

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