As celebrations of Pride Month happen around the country, schools in the charter school movement have stepped forward to support LGBTQ students around the country. Image Credit: Magic City Academy

As celebrations of Pride Month happen around the country, schools in the charter school movement have stepped forward to support LGBTQ students around the country. And one, Magic City Acceptance Academy (MCAA), is Alabama’s first LGBTQ-centered charter school. After being rejected by the Alabama Public Charter School Commission three different times, they finally opened their doors last fall. 

The building, educators, and school leaders provide a safe place where LGBTQ+ students can attend school free from harassment, racism, and bullying. The 240 6th-12th grade students who attend MCAA can be themselves at school without fear.

The staff at MCAA focuses on social-emotional learning and goes beyond academics by directing students to learn more about self-awareness, self-management, decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness.

The school has a strong commitment to the social-emotional learning process. The school leaders want to go beyond academics, fostering learning on self-management, self-awareness, decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness.

The students at MCAA have been watching a challenging civics lesson unfold this year as the State of Alabama debates over the transgender health care law that wouldn’t allow anyone under the age of 19 to seek hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgeries. Because of their charter school, students have a safe space to discuss these topics and process their feelings. 

While the world around them argues and debates the future, most students and staff breathe a small sigh of relief as their first academic year comes to a close. MCAA has plans for the future, as school leaders hope to boost enrollment to 350 students next year and add Mandarin to their foreign language department, which already includes French and Spanish. There is also a discussion of adding Advanced Placement classes down the road.

For the students and staff at Magic City Acceptance Academy, the school is a refuge where everyone is free to be who they are, making MCAA an extraordinary place in the charter school education landscape.

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