While on the playground at Rejoice Christian Schools, Chloe expressed her feelings for a fellow female classmate. Soon Chloe was escorted to the office. The vice-principal called her in for a meeting to lecture her about Christianity’s extreme views on same-sex relationships.
When the vice-principal was finished lecturing Chloe, he called Shelton and asked her to pick her daughter up from school. Shelton recalls the vice-principal asked how she views "girls liking girls." The school official "looked shocked and appalled" when Chloe's mother replied, "If we're being honest, I think it's OK."
"My daughter was crying, saying 'does God still love me?’” Delanie Shelton, Chloe's mother, told KOKH, a local Fox affiliate.
Shelton said she is raising Chloe to be comfortable knowing that it's ok for people to love whomever they want.
The following day, Shelton received a phone call informing her that Chloe and her 5-year-old brother were no longer welcome as students. Due to the anti-gay views of school administators, Shelton must find another school for her children during the ongoing pandemic.
"I was so blindsided. I was angry, hurt, betrayed, sad ... so many different emotions. I just couldn't believe it," Shelton explained. "I asked him to have a sit-down meeting to discuss it and process it better, and he refused, saying that 'nothing more needed to be discussed.’”
The way Chloe was treated by this school is deplorable and disgusting. I am so glad that school alumni who identify as LGBTQIA have rallied around Chloe to show her how loved and special she is and to support her as she begins life at a new school. https://t.co/nF9rctdjRj
— Resist! -Remove Trump from office NOW (@mydaddyscross) January 31, 2021
An Owosso, Oklahoma school expelled an 8-year-old for verbalizing that she had a crush on a female student.
Shelton added that "they ripped my kids out of the only school they've ever really known, away from their teachers and friends they've had over the past four years, over something my daughter probably doesn't know or fully understand."
According to CNN, Rejoice Christian School’s handbook states that “any form of sexual immorality” goes against its beliefs, which includes professing to be homosexual/bisexual.
It also says that students who do not “conform to the standards and ideals of work and life” at the school will forfeit the “privilege” of attendance.
Students are not even allowed to have public displays of affection, like hugging and kissing. Even holding hands is prohibited according to the handbook. The grounds for dismissal also include pregnancy, though the student may choose to be "placed on homebound" to avoid encouraging other students from being "drawn by bad example to do likewise."
“It wasn't a relationship nor a practice," Shelton said after reviewing the handbook. "Just a crush. To an 8-year-old, that could just mean that she really enjoys playing on the playground with her."
Shelton admitted that she did not expressly read the handbook provided when she first enrolled Chloe. She first registered her four-year-old daughter into Pre-Kindergarten. But she could not have possibly known that, a few years later, Chloe would say she had feelings for another girl.
Chloe said that, while she felt “really sad and betrayed and kind of angry” because of what transpired, she was inspired by others' supportive responses. “I feel so loved and supported. Thank you so much to everyone who made me feel better for being who I am,” she told KOKH.