Davidson Academy Turns Down Students Whose Parents Are Gay

| by Lisa Fogarty
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A private school in Nashville reportedly refused to allow students to register for its programs because their parents were gay.

Brian Copeland told USA Today that he reportedly scheduled an appointment with administrators at Davidson Academy in the Madison area so that he could tour the grounds and discuss programs for his son, who is entering pre-kindergarten, and his 8-month-old daughter. But a school official reportedly sent him a letter, dated Jan. 14, that explained the school visit was being canceled because their children are being raised by two fathers.

Copeland said the administrator wrote in the letter that, “another education provider would be a better fit for your children. Therefore, we cannot grant admission to your children.”

Davidson Academy is an interdenominational school that serves students ages pre-K-12. Copeland was so infuriated after receiving the letter that he reportedly posted it on Facebook, but blurred out the name of the school and the official who penned it.

"We chose this school because of its rigorous faith-based K-12 academics and extracurricular activities; and, a friend with a son there asked them if a family like ours would be allowed and was told yes,” Copeland said. “After a phone conversation, fully disclosing we are a two-dad family, an appointment was set for us. I receive this letter canceling our appointment without even getting a chance."

Copeland, who is a real estate agent married to Greg Bullard, pastor of Covenant of the Cross, says he wants his children to get a Christian education, but that it is difficult to find one that is accepting of their lifestyle.

Even though Davidson is not a Christian school, it was reportedly founded by Christians and abides by “clear tenets of faith and practice,” according to the letter. The official wrote to Copeland that its school’s admissions policy, which appears in its handbook, states that all students, parents, guardians, teachers and administrators “manifest lifestyle conduct and actions which project an image consistent with the expressed purposes, missions and beliefs of the school.”

The school official reportedly continued to defend the school’s position, “Just as you believe strongly in affirming all persons who worship at your church, we believe strongly in a strict interpretation of the Scriptures regarding the institution of marriage.”

Copeland and Bullard say they aren’t planning to take legal action against the school, reports The Tennessean. Since he posted the letter on Facebook, it has reportedly been shared more than 100 times –  by people of faith, as well, says Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project.

"Discriminating against parents, in this case, has an effect on the child," Sanders said. "And I think maybe that's what is so striking to so many straight allies. Do you hit an entire family if you have a disagreement with the parents? That's why this has legs. That's why this has power. That's why this has emotional impact."

A spokesperson from Davidson Academy reportedly hasn't provided comment.

Sources: USA Today, The Tennessean/Photo Credit: The Tennessean