A popular conservative student organization released leaked audio footage, which it claims is from a teacher at Bob Jones High School (BJHS) in Madison admitting to comparing the organization to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). 

According to the School Board Watchlist (SBW), an initiative of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a popular conservative student organization in high schools and colleges around the country, a BJHS teacher cited the school’s TPUSA chapter vice president by name after accusing the group of having a direct affiliation with the KKK and other white supremacist organizations. 

The SBW said the teacher, Melissa Lacey, did not teach the vice president but has been his ROTC instructor for the past several years. Lacey is the Air Force JROTC instructor at BJHS.

Several TPUSA members who were in Lacey’s class, however, accused her of comparing the student organization to the KKK. Bob Jones High School Principal Sylvia Lambert confirmed to SBW that the comments were made by Lacey. However, SBW suggested that Lambert informed Lacey about who filed the complaint, prompting her to send an email to the accusers. 

According to the email, Lacey accused the TPUSA vice president’s family of lying. She also indicated that the alleged incident was said to have occurred in her “Cultural Awareness” class.

“I am highly disappointed that you did not contact me directly with this accusation, especially considering you have emailed me directly over 20 times this school year,” Lacey appears to have written in the email. “I do not take this accusation lightly, as I work very hard to provide a welcoming and inclusive learning environment in my classroom. [NAME REDACTED] is NOT in my class this 9 weeks, and if he told you that I used his name in my discussions, I am curious as to how he came to perceive this.”

Nevertheless, audio footage, which SBW said was from Lacey’s class, seems to show her admitting to making the comments. 

“I apologize for the confusion that has come from my unnamed judgments of a JROTC cadet and his membership in Turning Point USA,” Lacey allegedly said, as is recorded in the audio footage. “It was not my intent to offend anyone. I retract my suggestion of research findings that TPUSA could possibly be linked to the KKK and do not wish for you to judge any student organization ... I do highly encourage you to always do your research. Any organization that you’re interested in be sure you’re aware of the mission, purpose or beliefs of any organization. Make sure they’re aligned with your values because the organization says a lot about who you are.”

1819 News reached out to both Lacey and BJHS for comment but did not receive a response.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.