Photo Credits: Wikimedia
In January a 15-years-old girl was celebrating her birthday in a restaurant and after her mom posted a photo of her daughter with a colorful cake and a rainbow shirt, the girl has been expelled from school. Kayla Kenney had been attending the private Catholic school for four years and then she was expelled because of the social media post.
Kimberly Alford, the girl’s mom said that her daughter is not gay and that they didn’t want to make a statement about sexual orientation: “There was nothing intended by [the rainbow color], and even when I went back and got the receipt from the bakery, it didn’t say anything about representation, it just said assorted colors.”
The private Christian school denies the allegations, and claims there is more to the story. “Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post,” the school stated at the time. “In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled.”
The girl’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the Christian school and contends that Louisville's Whitefield Academy expelled the teen, who is referred to as "K.K." in court documents, due to her perceived sexuality.
“Essentially, the school expelled K.K. because they believed that K.K. was gay. As such, in Whitefield’s view, it would be difficult to “achieve the goal of [K.K.] becoming Christ-like," the suit states. "In so doing, Whitefield invaded K.K.’s privacy, defamed K.K., breached its contract with K.K.’s parents, Kimberly Alford and Mike Kenney, and inflicted serious emotional distress on K.K. herself. Certainly in 2020 it is unbelievable that conversations like this one are still occurring — and that lawsuits like this one are still necessary."
As NBC News reports, the letter to the teen's family was signed by the Head of School, Bruce Jacobson, which stated the rainbow-filled birthday photo "demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”
“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.”
The teen has since moved on to a public school, according to her mom.
“She’s adjusting really well, but she also seems stressed and overwhelmed at times,” Alford said. “I felt like [Whitefield Academy] had a positive impact on her, but I just feel like those religious beliefs they are imposing now are very judgmental. That’s not what I wanted for her.”