A Christian school has expelled a 15-year-old girl for wearing a rainbow sweater to celebrate her birthday with a rainbow cake which they deemed as ‘lifestyle violations.’
Christian high school in Kentucky expelled the girl after school administrators saw a photograph from her 15th birthday party in which she was wearing a rainbow sweater and smiling next to a rainbow birthday cake.
According to her mom, the school had given her daughter the book “Gay Girl, Good God,” written by an ex-gay, prior to her expulsion.
“She was happy. She looked beautiful,” the teen’s mom, Kimberly Alford, told NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville.
“Of course, as a mom, I took her picture blowing out her candles, and I posted that on my Facebook page.”
Shortly after Alford posted the photo on her Facebook page late December at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant showing the girl is wearing a sweater featuring a rainbow design and sitting by a colorful, rainbow-themed cake, she received an e-mail from the head of Whitefield Academy, where her daughter, Kayla, was a freshman. The email was to inform her that 15-year-old daughter had been a freshman at Whitefield Academy, a private school at 7711 Fegenbush Lane that serves students in preschool through 12th grade has been expelled “immediately due to a post on social media.”
“The WA Administration has been made aware of a recent picture, posted on social media, which demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs,” the letter, signed Jan. 6 by the head of the school, Bruce Jacobson, said.
“We made it clear that any further promotion, celebration, or any other actions and attitudes that are counter to Whitefield’s philosophy would not be tolerated. As a result, we regret to inform you that Kayla is being dismissed from the school immediately.”
Even though rainbows can have many meanings they have served as a universal symbol of gay pride and acceptance since the late 1970s. It is used as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pride and support for LGBTQ rights.
Alford however said her daughter is not gay and the cake was simply a fun treat, with the bakery receipt listing the design as “assorted colors.” She also said that the Whitefield Academy Parent Teacher Fellowship has even featured a rainbow image on its private Facebook page before later taking it down after the expulsion of her daughter.
“I just feel like it’s a label (school officials) have put on her,” Alford said. “Just because I’m wearing a rainbow doesn’t mean I’m gay.”
Jacobson, Whitefield Academy’s head of school, told The Courier Journal that the expulsion came after “two years of continuous violations of our student code of conduct.”
“Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post,” the school said in a statement. “In fact, she has unfortunately violated our student code of conduct numerous times over the past two years.”
The school added that, ““Whitefield Academy is accredited by ACSI/AdvancEd and a member of the Non Public School Commission of Kentucky, and therefore we meet all Kentucky regulations and laws. Our code of conduct is on pare with other private Christian schools in our area. It is unfortunate that one of the student’s parents chose to post internal family matters on social media, and we hope our former student is not adversely affected by what her parents chose to make public about her situation.”