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.


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."


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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