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School Tells Eight-Year-Old She Isn’t Girly Enough

by Jean Ann Esselink on March 25, 2014

in Discrimination,Families,Jean Ann Esselink,News

WSET TV is reporting that the grandparents of an eight-year old attending Timberlake Christian School in Virginia, have received a letter from the school’s K-8 principal complaining the child is not feminine enough.

“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment.” Read the letter sent to Carroll and Doris Thompson, the grandparents of eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle. “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 threatened that if Sunnie didn’t follow the school’s “biblical standards” she would not be allowed back in the fall. To their credit, Sunnie’s grandparents, who have adopted and are raising the little girl, didn’t wait for September. Sunnie is now enrolled in public school. As far as her grandparents are concerned, she’s fine just as she is.

Sunnie has short hair and prefers jeans and sneakers and she’d rather play outside than dress dolls. None of that bothers her grandmother, Doris Thompson.

“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? Asked Doris. “How do you do that? I can’t do that.”

The school claims their problem with Sunnie goes beyond her short hair, writing that unspecified “things” about Sunnie disturb the classroom environment. The letter says students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl.

Problem solved. They should ask Sunnie. “I’m a girl.” She says. “I know I’m a girl.”

“How do you label a child, eight years old? Asked her grandfather, Carroll Thompson. “Or discriminate against an eight-year-old child?”

Though his questions were meant to be rhetorical, the school has found a way to do just that. Their letter warns that administrators can refuse enrollment for “condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity”.

Sunnie2Sunnie’s grandparents say the school won’t get the chance to pass further judgement on their granddaughter. She will not be returning.

Well done Doris and Carroll Thompson!

But wait. Before you cheer for a happy ending, you should know Sunnie’s grandparents report she cries every day for her friends at Timberlake Christian.

I’m sure there must be something in that Timberlake bible about bullying the children entrusted to their tender mercies.


h/t Chris Berryman

Photo: WSET TV

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BeerandOnion March 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Why are Christians so nasty?

MitchBurns2013 March 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Who knows maybe they are 'frustrated' or something. There's nothing in the bible to dictate the appearance of a person. The school should be told where to go…

milomurray March 26, 2014 at 1:27 am

Because bigots have learned to use shields.

Bose_in_SP_MN March 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

If it's like the fundamentalist Christian school I was all-too familiar with in the late 90s, Sunnie's journey is now complicated by the teaching that such schools are the only safe space for kids to learn. Public schools are decried as scary and careless, putting kids at risk and failing to teach compassion and empathy.

So, the environment that insisted it was the only safe place to Sunnie has now cast her off as a scary outsider. Terrible thing to do to any kid.

detectorstage March 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Man,such a sweet gal, she will soon forget this HATEFULL diatribe on part of the school,CONGRADS to her g-folks for getting her outa there. Those Christian bigots,with their narrow,narrow views (all the while hiding behind their stupid black book,and wearing 'draft horse' size BLINDERS to all who question their ways….She will now grow in the REAL WORLD,where humans didn't ride dinosaurs

BJLincoln March 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

She will make new and better friends. Her Grandparents did the right thing.
As for the Christian school…..They will churn out kids who will not do well in the general population. They will probably be bad in math and science and be full of useless "facts" from the Bible others will snicker at later at parties. This happened at a party of a friend.

melewis1961 March 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm

What deplorable attitudes these "Christians" are showing a little girl. I grew up with a girl that was very much the same way, short hair, jeans, t-shirt or sweatshirt. played outside with the boys. She grew up to be a beautiful woman. Just because a girl is a tom boy, doesn't mean she is gay. The girl I grew up with is straight. This "Christian" school is assuming that Sunny is a lesbian. and therefore should NOT go to that school. I know Sunny will find new friends, and I hope they like her for who she is, not what she looks like.

Derek Williams March 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Religion is the scourge of the homosexual.

scallywagy March 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Because one can always trust the Church to appropriate 'correct' gender scripts or else….

Because a woman's place is always behind that of a man….

VinylPoet March 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

This is just a new ultimate low. How you dress makes you gay? Placing a sexual identity on an 8 year old? Religion makes me gag. Kudos to her grandparents for their efforts. Would be nice if some of her friends parents would step up and whatnot, at least allow for further play dates. But I'm sure the school would want to regulate that and threaten them expulsion if they even interacted with Sunnie.

Roboyoshi15 March 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

It's good to see the grandparents not giving in to the school's demands.

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