Christian school expels girl over rainbow shirt and birthday cake, family says

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Christian school expels girl over rainbow shirt and birthday cake, family says

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https://abcnews.go.com/US/christian-sch ... d=68274078

Her mother says she filed an appeal with the school, but it was denied.

A Christian school in Kentucky is accused of expelling a freshman student after seeing an image of her celebrating her 15th birthday with a rainbow cake and multi-colored sweater.

Kimberly Alford said officials at Whitefield Academy in Louisville sent her an email last week with the image of her daughter, Kayla, and informed her that Kayla was no longer a student.

Alford said she filed an appeal with the school, but it was denied.

"When I called the head of the school to discuss it with him, I was quite emotional," Alford told ABC News in an interview Tuesday. "He told me, 'Kim, the sweater, the cake, it just kind of represents gay pride … when you saw the cake you should have refused it.'"

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Alford said she shared the image on her Facebook page and suspects that someone may have sent a copy of it to the school. She said the image was not intended to represent LGBTQ pride, although her daughter loves all people.


Courtesy Kimberly Alford
Kimberly Alford said her daughter, Kayla, was expelled from Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Ky., over an image of her with a rainbow-colored birthday cake.Kimberly Alford said her daughter, Kayla, was expelled from Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Ky., over an image of her with a rainbow-colored birthday cake.
Courtesy Kimberly Alford
Whitefield Academy said in a statement to ABC News that Kayla was not expelled "solely for a social media post," and said that she had violated its student code of conduct "numerous times over the past two years."

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"Whitefield Academy is a Christian-based school with a 43-year history of educating students in a learning environment informed by our shared Christian values," the school said in a statement Tuesday. "All parents who enroll their children in our private school know up front that we ask the students to adhere to a lifestyle informed by our Christian beliefs."

"There are numerous school options in our community for students who do not wish to attend a Christian-based school, and we wish our former student all the best as she finds a learning environment that is right for her," it added.

Alford admitted that her daughter, who has been a student at Whitefield since the 6th grade, has had trouble following the school's strict rules. She once got in trouble for shaving the sides of her head and was ordered to wear her hair down to cover it up. She was also penalized for having an e-cig on campus, her mother said.

When asked about her daughter's reaction to the dismissal, she said the teenager felt hurt.

"She feels judged," Alford said. "It hurts me too because I don't want her to grow up thinking something wrong with her just because she marches to the beat of her own drum."

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Re: Christian school expels girl over rainbow shirt and birthday cake, family says

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https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/paren ... nysubj.com

Parents of teen allegedly expelled from Christian school over rainbow sweater, cake, are now suing

The parents of a Louisville, Ky., high school student who was allegedly expelled from a Christian school over a photo posted on social media are now reportedly suing the private academy, claiming the school invaded their daughter’s privacy and inflicted emotional distress.

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Filed on Thursday, the family's lawsuit accuses Whitefield Academy in Louisville of expelling Kayla Kenney (K.K.) over her perceived sexuality after a picture of her wearing a rainbow sweater and posing with a rainbow birthday cake was shared on Facebook.

“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, NBC News reported. "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."

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Kenney’s mother, Kimberly Alford, spoke out previously, insisting the cake was not a statement about orientation (rainbows are often used as a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community) and that her daughter wasn’t gay.

"All parents who enroll their children in our private school know up front that we ask the students to adhere to a lifestyle informed by our Christian beliefs."

— Whitefield Academy
“The receipt for the cake purchased, for her birthday, validates that it was requested to be a floral assortment of different colors. Nothing specific was requested and no statement was made to imply anything other than colorful,” Alford said in a letter previously shared with Fox News, appealing the school's decision.

The school has previously denied the allegations that Kenney was expelled “solely for a social media post” and insists the student committed violations of the student code of conduct “numerous times over the past two years.”

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“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 statement to Fox News read.

“Whitefield Academy is a Christian-based school with a 43-year history of educating students in a learning environment informed by our shared Christian values. All parents who enroll their children in our private school know up front that we ask the students to adhere to a lifestyle informed by our Christian beliefs.”

The school did not explicitly state what the “numerous” violations were, or whether they occurred on campus or outside of the school. According to Whitefield Academy’s Code of Conduct, students can be punished for “lifestyle violations” that happen off-campus. However, in an interview with NBC News, Alford claims the previous incidents were for “behavioral issues,” including cutting class and vaping. However, she maintains that the school’s decision to remove her daughter was due to the school believing Kenney was gay, citing a book, “Gay Girl, Good God,” which was reportedly given to the high school student by a guidance counselor after the photos were shared.

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Before filing the suit, Alford tried to appeal the school’s decision, she told Fox News. The school denied the appeal.

Whitefield Academy and Kimberly Alford were not immediately available for further comment.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

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