A private Christian School in Louisville, Kentucky expelled a student for what they called a "lifestyle violation."
What was this supposed violation?
A photo on her mother's personal Facebook page of her birthday party, where she is wearing a sweater with a rainbow on it and has a rainbow-colored cake.
Here is the post the school officials found so offensive.
Just a few days after her mother posted the photo, 15-year-old Kayla Kenney received the news that she had been expelled from Whitefield Academy via an email to her mother, Kimberly Alford.
Alford was shocked when she opened the email.
WAVE 3 News
She told WAVE3 News:
"It was an email expelling Kayla from Whitefield immediately due to a post on social media. I feel judged, she feels judged, just very devastating for us."
The email, from Whitefield Academy's Head of School Dr. Bruce Jacobson, claimed that the photo was just the latest of two year's worth of these so-called "lifestyle violations."
Alford was shocked this simple photo of a girl's birthday with an assorted color cake—the exact description on the store receipt—was the "last straw" for the school.
Alford did not disclose the other supposed violations, but if this photo is any example... Whitefiled is a private religious school and can enact whatever rules they want, but are they so homophobic they've banned anything related to rainbows?
Lisa Frank must be Whitefiled enemy #1.
Whitefield Head of School Jacobson said the photo:
"...demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy's beliefs."
But is it the potential for LGBTQ acceptance or the science behind rainbows—the refraction and reflection of light through round water droplets acting as prisms—that Whitefield finds so abhorrent?
While the school's code of conduct does mention sexual orientation and does allow for discipline for a student's behavior off campus, Alford is confused as to why this particular photo led administrators to assume that rule was even relevant in this situation.
"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."
When Alford appealed her daughter's expulsion, the school agreed to change it to a voluntary withdrawal so that Kenney's record would not show her having been expelled.
She is concerned that the school's negativity and discrimination might have a permanent effect on Kayla, however.
"You know we teach our kids what would Jesus do. What would he do here?"
People on social media were highly critical of the school's decision.
This school is the cult. America can be so retrograde in some avenues, seeing that this can happen in this time and… https://t.co/22g0wYdpOy— Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer (@Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer)1579094194.0
@B52Malmet The most striking thing here is that the Christian school took offence at rainbows which according to th… https://t.co/TSIgs7nK9P— Brian Gilmer (@Brian Gilmer)1579094097.0
Rainbow shirt “lifestyle violation,” student expelled from private school. My daughter is a student at a local pr… https://t.co/8K7PJMaHc4— J.T. Yuodis,PIO (@J.T. Yuodis,PIO)1578979741.0
@wvlt She got in trouble for a rainbow cake and shirt? That's it? How is that against any rule?— Josh Davis (@Josh Davis)1579026078.0
Many chose to highlight the ridiculousness of the situation.
@NBCNews What do they do when it rains and there is a rainbow after? Are they banning rainbows?— Elizabeth Alonso (@Elizabeth Alonso)1579073064.0
@Thereapper69 @NBCNews What do they do when there's a 🌈 over 🏙? Stay inside and 😭? 😂 https://t.co/UdUXKfgX3w— Was That Comma-spastic Holly,,, (@Was That Comma-spastic Holly,,,)1579075190.0
@USATODAY @newsmanbluesman Guess we should expel all the kids who draw rainbows on their pictures as well. What a j… https://t.co/gphbzj2z9T— Sara O'Neill (@Sara O'Neill)1579073855.0
Others left Alford colorful words of support on Facebook.
She ultimately chose to enroll Kayla in public school, where she is reportedly doing well despite having been uprooted after 4 years of making friends at Whitefield.
Alford told Wave 3 News that Kayla doesn't want to go back to Whitefield, even if she could.