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Christian school expels student for her rainbow sweater & cake, deeming them "lifestyle violations"

Whitefield Academy expelled a student because they are homophobic. Though her parents tried to fight the decision, it seems there is no room for recourse.

Christian school expels student for her rainbow sweater & cake, deeming them "lifestyle violations"
Image Source: Photography by Jacqueline Foss/Flickr/Getty Images

Kayla, a high school student in Kentucky, was excited to celebrate her 15th birthday. In honor of the occasion, she got all dressed up in a cute rainbow sweater and blew out her birthday candles on a rainbow birthday cake. She and her family thought little of the celebration. The teenager certainly did not expect to be expelled for her choices. However, when members of her Christian school administration chanced upon a photo of her in her rainbow sweater next to her rainbow birthday cake, they decided she could no longer attend classes at Whitefield Academy - because they were apparently "lifestyle violations," NBS News reports.


"She was happy. She looked beautiful," the teenager's mom, Kimberly Alford, said in an interview regarding the "scandalous" photo. "Of course, as a mom, I took her picture blowing out her candles, and I posted that on my Facebook page." It was after she uploaded a photo of Kayla to Facebook that she received a letter from Bruce Jacobson, the head of Whitefield Academy where her daughter was a student in her freshman year. The letter read, "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. 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 rainbow, in addition to being a meteorological phenomenon, has become a universal symbol for LGBTQ+ pride over the years. Though Kayla was not trying to make a political statement, her high school, unfortunately, did not see it that way. Perhaps even more sadly, the school evidently has a problem with the LGBTQ+ community. Nonetheless, the school claims that the photo of Kayla was only the "last straw" in a series of "lifestyle violations." Over the past two years, the student was handed several warnings regarding her behavior. "Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post," Whitefield Academy explained in a statement.  

Since Kayla's expulsion, her mother has been fighting the school's decision. She recently filed an appeal with the school, arguing that her young daughter should not be "held accountable for a cake that I purchased with no intention of promoting a posture of morality and cultural acceptance that contradicts that of Whitefield Academy." But this has been of no help. Whitefield Academy refuses to budge on its position. Nonetheless, the administration did agree to change the teen's expulsion to a "voluntary withdrawal," which means it will no longer show up on her record. As Kimberly continues to fight the decision by raising awareness, her daughter has joined another school. The concerned mother stated, "She had some close-knit friendships with students. The parents are great. I just hate that this happened. Whitefield was not all bad. I really liked it. I wanted her to graduate from there. I just want to defend her in a graceful way. I want to stand up for my child. Just treat people with kindness and love, and don’t be judgmental."


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