Facebook | Kimberly Alford

Christian School Expels Teen Over Photo With Rainbow Shirt And Birthday Cake

Caitlyn Clancey 16 Jan 2020

A Kentucky family has accused their daughter's Christian school of expelling the teen after she was photographed posing with a rainbow birthday cake while sporting a rainbow sweater, NBC News reported.

Rainbows are a popular motif for many young people.

But15-year-old Kayla Alford's brightly-colored attire and similarly decorated cake were apparently deemed a "lifestyle violation" by school administration, compelling them to formally terminate the teen's enrollment.

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Alford, who was a freshman at Whitefield Academy in Louisville, was celebrating her 15th birthday with family last month.

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While dining at a local restaurant, the teen was presented with a beautiful cake topped with rainbow icing — perfectly on-par with what was apparently a rainbow-themed birthday celebration.

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Who doesn't love rainbows?

Facebook | Kimberly Alford

Her mother, Kimberly, posted a photo of a smiling Kayla posing with her rainbow birthday cake on Facebook.

"She was so happy," Kimberly told WAVE3 News. "She looked beautiful."

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However, just a few days after the photo was uploaded, Kimberly received a letter in the mail from Kayla's school.

Whitefield Academy

The letter, which was written by Bruce Jacobson, the head of Whitefield Academy, read:

"The WA Administration has been made aware of a recent picture, posted on social media, which demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy's beliefs."

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The letter also references possible other times Alford may have transgressed.

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"We made it clear that any further promotion, celebration, or any other actions and attitudes that are counter to Whitefield’s philosophy would not be tolerated. As a result, we regret to inform you that Kayla is being dismissed from the school immediately.”

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Although rainbows can mean different things to different people, they have historically served as a universal symbol of gay pride.

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Kimberly told WTHR 13 that her daughter does not identify as LGBTQ, and said that the shirt and cake were only meant to be festive.

"I feel judged [and] she feels judged," Kimberly 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."

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The Academy told NBC News that the image was the last straw after two years of "lifestyle violations."

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"Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post," the Academy said in a statement.

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"In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled."

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Kimberly clarified that her daughter had been on probation since October for "behavioral issues," like bringing an e-cigarette to school and cutting class.

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Apparently, Kayla had also recently been forced to meet with a school counselor after some students expressed discomfort at the teen's "perceived sexuality."

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The counselor gave Kayla the book "Gay Girl, Good God," written by Jackie Hill Perry, who insists she is a reformed lesbian after God helped stop from being gay.

Kayla and the counselor reportedly met weekly to discuss the book.

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This week, Kayla began classes at public school, where her mom said she's "adjusting" to the new atmosphere.

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As for why she decided to share her daughter's story, Kimberly said she believes Kayla was treated "unjustly" and wants to prevent similar treatment to other students.

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She wants it to serve as an example.

"I just want to defend her in a graceful way," Kimberly said. "I want to stand up for my child. Just treat people with kindness and love, and don't be judgmental."

h/t: NBC News

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