Louisville’s NBC News affiliate reports:
A lawsuit has been filed after a Kentucky high school student was expelled from her Christian school after images appeared on social media showing her celebrating her 15th birthday while smiling next to a rainbow cake. The suit, filed Thursday, contends that Whitefield Academy expelled the teen due to her perceived sexuality.
School administrators said a photo of her family birthday party in which she is wearing a rainbow sweater next to a rainbow cake was a “lifestyle violation. “She was happy. She looked beautiful,” the teen’s mom, Kimberly Alford, told NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville.
Alford said a school counselor gave her daughter the book “Gay Girl, Good God,” whose author, Jackie Hill Perry, is a formerly identified lesbian who claims God stopped her from being gay. That counselor had been meeting weekly with Kayla to discuss the book before she was expelled.
The school contends that the rainbow cake photo was the last straw after earlier disciplinary issues including being found with a Juul pen.
Tony Perkins, of course, backs the school.
This story is important because it raises a question at the heart of ongoing religious liberty debates in this country, namely, whether a Christian school founded on Christian convictions can insist that its students and staff comply with its publicly-stated Christian values.
Thankfully, Whitefield Academy’s statement of faith clearly communicates the school’s stance on issues related to sexuality.
Other Christian schools should pay attention to this and ensure their own statements of faith clearly outline what they believe about marriage, sexual ethics, and the Christian faith that grounds their worldview. It may not change how the media writes the story, but it will change how others like Whitefield’s end.
Over 20 years ago Louisville became the first Kentucky municipality to enact its Fairness Ordinance, which provides LGBTQ protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. It’s not clear whether the ordinance is applicable to a private Christian school.
Kentucky student’s parents file lawsuit against Christian school that expelled the girl after images appeared on social media showing her celebrating her 15th birthday while wearing a rainbow sweater and smiling next to a rainbow cake. https://t.co/Pr7oGYRAml – @NBCOUT
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 24, 2020