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Catholic school shuts down, citing protest threats over Council member talk

City Council member Vernetta Alston had been scheduled to speak at downtown Immaculata Catholic School on Friday to help kick off Black History Month.

Instead, Alston was disinvited, she said.

Alston, an alumna of the school, is a lawyer, a wife and a mother. She is also openly gay.

Christopher VanHaight, the Immaculate Conception Church pastor, shuttered the school and the church Friday, citing unspecified reports that unnamed groups planned to protest.

These events disappointed Alston and others, including some parents who had invited her to speak at her former school. 9th Street Journal reporter Jake Sheridan explains the conflict.