Trinity Academy, a private Christian K-12 school in Wichita, Kansas, has come under fire since it became public that the school has a policy that it reserves the right to expel any student whose family is accepting of “the LGBT lifestyle.”
The policy is spelled out in a Statement of Understanding, which the school asks each student and his or her parents to sign in order to affirm that enrollees and their families “understand, agree with, and support the school’s orthodox Christian beliefs and practices.”
As the Friendly Atheist originally reported last week, the final item comes loaded with some stringent prescriptions that apply not only to any student enrolled at Trinity but anyone in their families as well:
Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school’s traditional, Christian understanding of those issues. Therefore, when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school’s understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student.
In the uproar that followed the Friendly Atheist’s original blog post, Trinity’s website went dark and its Twitter and Facebook accounts were taken offline.
When local station KSN TV news reported on the school’s policy last Friday, Trinity issued a response, saying: “Trinity would not and has not denied admission to a student simply because they have a sibling who is gay. Neither would we necessarily deny admission to a student with same sex attraction. We do not condone sexual activity of any kind for our students whether heterosexual or homosexual.”
Friendly Atheist’s Hermant Mehta noted in a subsequent post:
[W]hile officials say they wouldn’t deny admission to students “simply because they have a sibling who is gay,” the only way I can reconcile that line with the Statement of Understanding is that they would admit students with gay siblings as long as the family was trying to fix that person, perhaps through harmful conversion therapy or by kicking that sibling out of the house.
So their new statement really doesn’t change anything. And when the reporters went to the school for clarification, no one would speak to them, only giving more reason to be suspicious.
Doug Bonney, Legal Director of ACLU Kansas, told Mediaite that any student expelled or suspended under such a policy would have no recourse to the law, given that Trinity is a private institution and Kansas has passed no civil rights legislation that would apply in this case. Although, he joked, if the school did choose to enact such a policy, “there would be no students left.”
[image: Christian Cross 33 via Flickr]
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