WASHINGTON — A Virginia school is responding after one of its students — an 8-year-old girl — says she was kicked out because she looks and dresses too much like a boy.
Timberlake Christian School, a religious school in Forest, Va., released a statement Wednesday after Sunnie Kahle’s grandparents — Doris and Carroll Thompson — pulled her out of the school. They say administrators told Kahle she didn’t follow the school’s “biblical standards” and that if she didn’t adhere, she’d be refused enrollment next year, according to WSET-TV in Lynchburg.
The statement refers to Kahle as “S.K.”
“At no time did the Church or the School state or imply that S.K. was sexually immoral or the like. Yet, reports like this have appeared in the media. The School has never told S.K. she cannot return to school,” Timberlake Christian said in the release, according to WSET.
Kahle has short hair, wears T-shirts and sneakers and has some tomboy tendencies.
Timberlake Christian’s initial letter from the principal said it was working to maintain its “Christian environment.”
“We believe that unless [Kahle] 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, according to WSET.
Mat Staver, of Liberty Counsel, spoke on behalf of Timberlake Christian, and said the school never wanted Kahle to leave.
“There’s no question, unfortunately that they are skewing this story and created a media scenario out of this and actually unfortunately misrepresented information and facts of what has been happening at the school,” Staver said to WSET.
Timberlake Christian said they would still like to sit down and talk with Kahle’s grandparents, but the family says they have no desire to re-enroll in the school.