A private Christian school located in California enacted a new policy this school year that called for the removal of one of the incoming kindergartners.
The reason? The little girl has two moms, which the school says goes against the Bible and isn’t compatible with the school’s teachings. The policy reads that if the school finds the atmosphere or conduct within a student’s home to be in opposition of a Christ-like lifestyle, the school reserves the right to refuse admission or to discontinue enrollment of a child.
As the school is a private religious institution and does not receive any public funds, it is not held to the same standards as a regular public school that would be barred from making admission decisions based on discrimination, but this hasn’t always been the case at this particular school. The child attended preschool and summer school at the same institution, but this policy is brand new this year. Her parents say that if they had known it would be an issue in the future, they would have initially enrolled her somewhere else, which would have prevented the girl’s current heartache, as she now has to change schools and is leaving all her friends behind.
Usually it’s best to fight discrimination, but in this case, this particular school is not currently required to acquiesce to federal laws that prohibit making decisions based on sexual orientation — whether it’s the student’s or her parents’.
The question in this situation becomes, however, whether it’s a good idea to fight to keep your kid in a situation where she may be harshly judged or bullied. It doesn’t start and end with a religious school that refuses to allow children of homosexuals in. Would you take your kid to a babysitter who crap-talks you behind your back? Or would you attend a local event because it had cool free activities for kids — even though it goes against what you and your family stand for? The bottom line — is it ever a good idea to willfully put your kid into a situation where they can be easily bullied, judged, harassed?
More: Almost half of U.K. schoolchildren are bullied every single day
As parents, we don’t want to completely shelter our kids from everything. We want them to experience joy and laughter, but we can’t (and shouldn’t) shield them from every heartache out there. Kids learn and grow from every experience, good or bad, and become the adults they will eventually be because of them. But going out of your way to avoid a situation where your child can be hurt just because of who she is (or who you are) is often in your kid’s best interests.
At this point, specific to schooling, parents should find out these types of policies before they enroll their child, and schools should make these decisions as early as possible so they can avoid booting a child out of school who has already laid down a foundation there. Unfortunately, as privately funded schools are exempt from these laws, they can and will continue to discriminate against people for their sexual orientation and other situations that go against the biblical teachings they choose to follow. This is their right, and it will continue to be their right unless and until this is changed.
Hopefully this family can find another school for their child that will welcome her — and her moms — with open arms.