Students voice concern over possible third party representative registering students for voting


Reece Ingram, Editor-in-Chief

Students often see visitors during lunch recruiting for the military or other regulated organizations. On February 7th, HC encountered a booth that described itself as simply registering students to vote; however, the booth’s owner did not share her political ties or her complete agenda for the day. 

“Allegedly, [the representative] was expressing preference to one political party over another,” HC Principal Paul Little said. “If that’s true, she won’t be back in the building. We were told she was just going to have a booth, and students were going to be able to register to vote.” 

Several of the students spoke of their concerns due to her third party participation in Turning Point USA. 

“I was shocked,” senior Jacob Ehl said. “I had known them as a political organization. I was curious as to why they were here. I had a brief conversation with the woman running it. Before I walked away, she wanted me to take this survey. If you know what Turning Point is, you know what type of questions they ask. It sounded like it was very politically biased.” 

In order for groups and organizations to visit campus, they must first be approved by the Fayette County Public School board with full disclosure. Then, the school will be alerted about the visitors. HC administration double-checks the visitor’s approval and usually meets with them beforehand. 

“It seemed pretty legitimate,” Little said. “When they said voter registration, I thought it was the group of ladies that visit every year from the Women’s League of Voters.”

According to Turning Point USA’s website, they describe themselves as “An American nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values on high school, college, and university campuses.” 

The website continues to describe its goal to gain investors to begin a traditional, conservative academy. With this goal publicly stated, it may seem like the intention of visiting HC campus was to recruit students. The founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, is aiming to give students K-12 an “America-first education.” Kirk believes that schools are “poisoning our youth with Anti-American ideas.” 

 This group was formed in 2012 as a way for Kirk to “unmask” liberal professors on college campuses. During the Trump Administration, the organization was donated more than $80 millions dollars by anonymous donors. 

The booth outside of the big connector had voter registration papers as well as several patriotic-themed buttons, pens, and other related items. A survey was also given to students with conservative-leaning questions.

On the February 9, 2022 SBDM meeting, Student Council President Owen Schmidt voiced concern over the organization being present in a public school. This was the first time administrators were informed regarding the interactions between the Turning Point USA member and HC students. 

“What I heard from the administration yesterday at the SBDM meeting was that they were unaware of the panel set up by Turning Point USA in the cafeteria,” Schmidt said. “This then led to the issue of safety–does the administration know who is in or allowed in the cafeteria at lunch? Regardless of political leaning, the fact that they got in the building with seemingly no one the wiser draws most of [Student Council’s] concern.”

Many students believed it was a joke recruiting them to join Turning Point USA. HC’s Student Council is adamant about protecting the political liberties among the student body. The organization works to ensure students should not feel pressured by a political organization to join certain parties. 

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for Turning Point USA to be at a public school,” Ehl said. “It feels odd and not right. It made me uncomfortable because of what I previously knew about [them].”

Students were left concerned about how this representative got access to the lunchroom. This leads to further questions of safety and third party access to the building.

“I think this more reflects an issue of vetting for organizations in the building,” Schmidt said. “A cursory search on the internet can vet the organization in question as shady enough to qualify them being denied access.”

HC Administration is taking action to understand the entrance and intentions of the Turning Point USA representative. Their main issue of concern is what was this representative’s truest intention and why. 

“We are going to investigate and act accordingly,” Little said. “This is more of an ‘I need to find out exactly what was going on’ issue. If the person is doing more than what they said they came up here for, then we don’t need them in the building.”