A tour stop organized by a powerful conservative student group with ties to former President Donald Trump will not take place at Nolensville High School — despite multiple advertisements stating otherwise.
Turning Point USA, a Phoenix-based nonprofit with a stated goal to “build the most organized, active, and powerful conservative grassroots activist network on high school and college campuses,” is advertising on its website and social media platforms that the “Made in America Tour” is coming to Williamson County on Sept. 21.
However, Williamson County Schools on May 6 told Turning Point officials in writing that the tour stop was “not approved”, according to the school district’s spokesperson, Carol Birdsong. The decision was made at the administrative level, Birdsong said, with school leadership following the school board policy that states only “non-partisan” political events are allowed.
The scheduled speaker for the event is conservative media personality Ben Johnson, who is Turning Point’s chief creative officer.
Johnson, who also works for the conservative Newsmax television channel, was fired from BuzzFeed in 2014 for plagiarism allegations. According to his online bio, Johnson is “obsessed with the intersection of politics, culture and the social web.”
The tour schedule shows stops in Iowa, Florida and California.
Turning Point USA representatives have not yet responded to requests for comment on where the Made in America Tour stop may now be located in Middle Tennessee, or if the event will be canceled entirely.
Turning Point USA was founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk when he was 18 years old. According to the organization, Turning Point has 2,500 high school and college campuses nationwide, over 250,000 student members, and over 450 staff members nationwide.