A Virginia Christian school told an 8-year-old girl’s grandparents that she’s too much like a boy for them to offer her enrollment for the next school year.
Sunnie Kahle’s grandparents received a letter from Timberlake Christian School that said the 8-year-old’s short hair had other students confused about whether she’s a boy or a girl. The principal wrote that Sunnie, who loves sports and sneakers, doesn’t meet the school’s “biblical standards,” according to WSET.
Sunnie’s grandparents, Doris and Carroll Thompson, decided to pull her out of the school when they learned she wasn’t welcome there anymore.
"How do you label a child, eight years old, or discriminate against an 8-year-old child?" said her grandfather, Carroll Thompson.
Now attending a public school, Sunnie misses her old friends.
"She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," Doris Thompson said.
"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," Doris read from a part of the letter.
The letter says the private school reserves the right to refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle, or an alternative gender identity.
"We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education,” the letter said.
The Thompsons say their granddaughter isn't confused about her gender.
"Sunnie says, 'I'm a girl, I know I'm a girl' and she said then you know, you're acting like and looking, and wanting to look and act like a boy" said Doris.
"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants, a shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can't? You've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can't do that," said Doris.
A school administrator told WSET that the problem with Sunnie goes a lot further than hair length, stating that "things disturbed the classroom environment."
The school’s website says, "TCS strives for academic excellence with a Christ-centered, discipleship focus. Students are grounded in the truths and implications of the Gospel through the preaching and teaching of our daily Bible classes, weekly chapels and accountability groups, as well as a curriculum consistently taught from a biblical worldview."
Facebook introduced a list of 56 new gender identity terms on Thursday, allowing users to enter up to 10 options to customize their profile.
The change also allows users to choose a preferred pronoun: him, her or them.
Facebook stated that the changes allow its 159 million U.S. users more choices in describing themselves.
The company added that it also allows users worldwide to keep their gender identity private.
"It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something," Alex Schultz, Facebook's director of growth, said.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBT media advocacy organization, praised Facebook for developing the new options.
"Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said.
The updated list of options are as follow:
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Male to Female
- Trans Female
- Trans Male
- Trans Man
- Trans Person
- Trans Woman
- Trans* Female
- Trans* Male
- Trans* Man
- Trans* Person
- Trans* Woman
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Woman
A Utah bill filed Wednesday prevents students from using school bathrooms that aren’t consistent with the gender defined on their birth certificate.
Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, told the Daily Herald that he introduced the legislation in response to a law passed in California that allows transgender students to choose which bathroom they feel is gender-appropriate and which sports teams they want to play on.
He says the bill defines gender under state code and doesn’t take into account “an individual's own opinion on their gender.”
The student’s gender is either designated on their birth certificate or they will have to provide a signed document specifying their gender from a physician who performed a “physical examination of the individual’s genitalia.”
The student will then be allowed to use only that gender-segregated bathroom at school.
"We are just trying to make sure people are comfortable," said Kennedy, a medical doctor by profession.
Transgender students may choose to use non-gender segregated, single bathrooms at school, but the executive director of Equality Utah, Brandie Balken, says that kind of exclusion can be emotionally damaging.
“We know this, from being kids ourselves. We all want to be included,” Balken told ThinkProgress.
Balken says transgender people “are average human beings who simply want to go to school or work, do their work, and go home. They simply want reasonable accommodations.”
Balken says the measure seeks “to set us apart — to put us on the outside of the regular every day lives.”