Teen expelled from school over rainbow shirt | Inquirer News

Teen expelled for wearing rainbow shirt; school says it’s a ‘lifestyle violation’

/ 05:45 PM January 15, 2020


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A teenager got expelled from her school because she wore a rainbow top and had a rainbow-themed cake for her 15th birthday celebration in Kentucky, United States.

High school freshman Kayla Kenney and her family were at a local restaurant when her mother, Kimberly Alford took a photo of her daughter with her birthday cake, as per NBC-affiliate WAVE 3 last Monday, Jan. 13.


Alford then decided to post the celebratory photo on her Facebook account on Dec. 31, 2019.


“She was happy; she looked beautiful,” Alford was quoted as saying. “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.”

Posted by Kimberly Alford on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The photo, however, reportedly reached Kenney’s private Christian school, Whitefield Academy, and was seen in a bad light.

Days later, the school’s head Dr. Bruce Jacobson emailed the mother, saying they are expelling Kayla from Whitefield immediately because of the post.

“I feel judged, she feels judged, just very devastating for us,” Alford was quoted as saying.

Alford also maintained that they had no hidden agenda for the photo, and that even the cake’s description in the bakery did not say anything about representation as “it just said assorted colors.”


Jacobson, however, argued in the email that Kenney’s photo is the latest of two year’s worth of “lifestyle violations,” as per the report.  He added that it “demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”

The school’s code of conduct addresses sexual orientation and states that a student’s off-campus behavior can be disciplined, as per the report. Alford, however, is taken aback at why the school decided to expel her daughter immediately over just a rainbow shirt.

The mother said they filed an appeal against the expulsion, but the school refused to meet with them. The school then reportedly offered to change the expulsion to a “voluntary withdrawal” so as to not blemish Kenney’s school record.

Kenney is now enrolled in a public school, as per the report. Alford said she is afraid that the school’s judgment may have a permanent effect on her daughter, but claimed that the teenager is getting a lot of support. Ian Biong/NVG


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TAGS: expulsion, Kentucky, LGBTQ, rainbow, United States

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