Ah, America, land of the free: Kayla Kenney got kicked out of her private school for celebrating her 15th birthday with her family after her mom took a photo of the family’s celebration and posted it on her Facebook page. Why? Her rainbow top and rainbow-themed birthday cake caught the attention of the school, who flagged both as “lifestyle violations” against the school’s beliefs.
Kenney’s mom, Kimberly Alford, spoke with WAVE 3 News in Louisville, Ky. “She was happy; she looked beautiful,” Alford told the outlet. “You know, of course as a mom, I took her picture of her blowing out her candles and I posted that on my Facebook page.”
But some snitch couldn’t bear seeing Alford’s little girl happy and ratted her out to Whitefield Academy staff. The post was circulated there, and a couple of days later, Alford received notice from the Head of School, Dr. Bruce Jacobson, that Kayla was expelled. According to the school, the photo was the final straw in two years’ worth of such “lifestyle violations.” Yes, you read that right. They’d been monitoring her social media posts for two years.
Alford was horrified. “I [felt] judged, she feels judged, just very devastating for us,” she told WAVE 3.
Dr. Jacobson said in the email to Alford that her photo “demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”
For the record, yes, Whitefield Academy’s code of conduct does cover sexual orientation, and says that if a student’s off-campus behavior is in violation of the school’s code, they will be disciplined accordingly.
Twitter lit up with reactions to the school’s expulsion of the girl:
But Alford said there was nothing overtly sexual about the rainbow-themed shirt or cake and is filing an appeal.
“She loves to laugh and dance and that’s just her,” Alford said. “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.”
The school declined to meet with Alford but said it would change the expulsion to a voluntary withdrawal on Kenney’s record. But Alford says this kind of judgment is likely to impact her daughter negatively and permanently anyway.
“You know we teach our kids what would Jesus do. What would he do here?” Alford asked.
Alford has since enrolled Kenney in a public school, where Kenney is slowly adjusting to her new setting. Still — we can’t believe this kind of thing
is still happening in 2020. Shame on Whitefield Academy for its barbaric example of intolerance and shaming.