Nipher Middle School promotes race-based “Affinity Club” and “Safe Spaces” club


A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding affinity groups at Nipher Middle School. The school is part of the Kirkwood School District in Missouri. PDE previously reported how the district published a video online with district staff bragging about the district’s affinity groups. Nipher Middle School has a page online labeled as “After School Activities.” The page has both a document and flyer for clubs in the 2023 spring semester. The first club listed in the document is simply named the “Affinity Club.”

The description for this club specifically states that it is “for 7th and 8th grade students of color.” Affinity groups are groups of people separated by identity characteristics, such as race and sexual orientation. The school provides the following description of the club:

It will be a safe space to explore issues of shared identity and experiences. It’s a club where students affirm each other while embracing different parts of their identities. Affinity groups help build a sense of community, allows for conversations, and helps identify concerns while celebrating each other.

Another club in the list for middle school students is labeled as “Safe Spaces” as part of GSA. The school describes the club as “a non-curricular student-led club whose goal is to provide a safe space for all middle schoolers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” The school provides the following description for the club:

It’s a welcoming space that provides support for students who identify as LGBTQIA+, who have friends or relatives who identify as LGBTQIA+, or who just care about LGBTQIA+ issues. Safe Space promotes character by working with all students and educators to encourage that everyone be treated with respect and compassion. It is a space where students can share their experiences, and collaborate on how to promote an inclusive education for all students.

The middle school also has a flyer promoting both the “Affinity Club” and “Safe Spaces” club.