Girl Expelled From Christian School For Wearing A Rainbow Sweater On Her Birthday

High school freshman Kayla Kenney was expelled from her Christian school after wearing a rainbow sweater while celebrating her 15th birthday with her family at a local restaurant.

The controversy began when her mother, Kimberly Alford, posted a picture of Kenney wearing a rainbow top and enjoying a rainbow birthday cake on social media.

“She was happy; she looked beautiful,” Alford told Wave 3 News. “You know, of course as a mom, I took her picture of her blowing out her candles and I posted that on my Facebook page.”

A few days after the post was shared with staff at Kayla’s school, Whitefield Academy’s Head of School, Dr. Bruce Jacobson, contacted Alford.

“It was an email expelling Kayla from Whitefield immediately due to a post on social media,” Alford said. “I feel judged, she feels judged, just very devastating for us.”

The private school claims the picture is the latest in two years’ worth of “lifestyle violations.”

In the email, Dr. Jacobson said the picture “demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”

According to Wave 3: “The code of conduct does address sexual orientation and says if a student’s off-campus behavior isn’t in line with the school’s beliefs, that student can be disciplined. But Alford said she wants to know how the shirt brought them to that conclusion.”

“She loves to laugh and dance and that’s just her,” Alford 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.”

Alford filed an appeal against the school’s decision to expel Kenney.

She said the school refused to meet with her, but they agreed to change the expulsion to a voluntary withdrawal so it’s not on Kayla’s record anymore.

Alford said she fears feeling this level of judgment could have a permanent impact on her child who has now enrolled in public school.

“You know we teach our kids what would Jesus do,” Alford said. “What would he do here?”