The school issued a statement that said the expulsion wasn't just based on the photo, but also due to several rules she'd broken over a period of two years.
A mother of a teenage girl in Kentucky is “devastated” after a local Christian school expelled her 15-year-old daughter over a photo that shows her wearing a rainbow sweater in front of a similarly decorated cake, reports HuffPost. Kayla Kenney, who was a freshman at Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, wore a sweater with the rainbow print on it to celebrate her birthday on December 30th, along with a rainbow-theme cake to complete the occasion at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. Her mother, Kimberly Alford, shared a photo of the teen about to blow out the candles on her birthday cake topped with rainbow icing on Facebook.
However, this picture prompted an email from Bruce Jacobson, Whitefield Academy's head, last week. The photo demonstrated “a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs,” Jacobson reportedly wrote. He also added that the image followed two years of “lifestyle violations,” and formally terminated her enrollment. Alford mentioned she'd filed an appeal with the school, but it was denied.
Rainbow is mentioned in the Bible and they are in Irish traditions. Instead of talking to the parents and the girl, they kicked her out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the school president is a closet gay.— Casey Hartman (@Ghentite) January 14, 2020
"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.'" Alford added that the cake or the sweater had no connection whatsoever with the LGBTQIA+ community, though Kenney loves all human beings equally. That's when she was told that the termination was not just for the cake but for all the rules she'd violated over the last two years.
Ugh! Really? What is this teaching our kids? The christian discrimination is just appalling. This poor kid, now having to transition to another school at this age. Leaving her school, where she had friends. This is just mean in so many ways. Shame on you @Whitefield_Acad— E R (@k4sk) January 16, 2020
"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 upfront 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.
You dodged a bullet ... run from that school and never look back ... I teach at a catholic school and we teach about God’s love, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness. I would quit if I was asked to teach anything different.— Charles P the Man (@CharlesPtheMan) January 16, 2020
Alford then added that her daughter, who had been a student at Whitefield since the 6th grade, has had trouble following the school's strict rules. Once, she got into trouble with the school for shaving the side of her head and was asked by school officials to wear her hair down so that it would be covered. She was also penalized for carrying an e-cig around campus, her mother added. When asked about her daughter's reaction to the dismissal, she said the teenager felt hurt.
Who would Jesus discriminate against? He certainly doesn't recognize the religion being pedalled in his name. Shame on all you blasphemers.— roberleigh barnhart (@RoberleighB) January 15, 2020
"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." Since her expulsion, Kenney has enrolled in a public school. Alford added that she simply wants to draw attention to the case so that it doesn’t happen again to a different student, and that's why she spoke up about it.
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜— amrb (@arbethune) January 16, 2020