A Christian school expelled a 15-year-old girl for celebrating her birthday with a rainbow cake while wearing a rainbow sweater.
Kimberly Alford said her daughter Kayla Kenney was a first-year student at Whitfield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky – but that changed after a social media post.
Kayla celebrated her 15th birthday in late December at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant with her friends. In the photo, she is smiling just after blowing out the candles on the colorful cake.
Alford proudly posted the photo of her daughter on her Facebook page. However, she had no idea it would get her daughter kicked out of the school.
On January 6, Alford received an email from the head of Whitfield Academy, Dr Bruce Jacobson, who explained that her daughter was being expelled ‘Immediately due to a post on social media.’
Sorry, this video isn't available any more.
Alford told the Courier-Journal that someone shared the photo with school officials.
‘I feel judged, she feels judged, just very devastating for us,’ Alford said.Nazi death camp survivor turns 100 on Holocaust remembrance day
The school claims that the photo – which it interpreted as supportive of the LGBT pride movement – is just the final straw after years of Kayla’s ‘lifestyle violations.’
Jacobson wrote in the email that the picture ‘demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.’
The private school’s code of conduct does have a section that focuses on sexual orientation and says that a student can be disciplined for off-campus behavior.Invasion Day protests as Australia marks anniversary of British colonisation
However, Alford said the school jumped to the wrong conclusions after seeing the picture of her daughter’s colorful sweater and cake.
‘I just feel like it’s a label (school officials) have put on her. Just because I’m wearing a rainbow doesn’t mean I’m gay,’ Alford said.
She told WAVE: ‘ “She loves to laugh and dance and that’s just her. There was nothing intended by that 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.’
Alford appealed the expulsion and, although the school refused to meet with her, they agreed to change the reason for leaving to a ‘voluntary withdrawal’ so it is not on Kaylas’s record.