Before we begin, let me clarify something. A private school, which is privately funded, is well within its right to do what it wants in a lot of cases. However, this fact does not elevate these institutions to a status of being above criticism; I wanted to get this point out of the way before the comments section blows up with people making that argument. If you see someone blowing that smoke, feel free to copy and paste this paragraph to them to prove they didn’t actually read any of this article.
That said, an interesting bit of news arose from a private high school called Trinity Academy in Wichita, KS this week. Patheos’ Friendly Atheist was sent a curious document that wasn’t available to the public. Parents of students are required to sign the document for their children to be enrolled. Most of it seemed pretty standard for an ultra-conservative sex-shaming Christian brainwashing “school,” but check out this bit:
“Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality, it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school’s traditional, Christian understanding of those issues. Therefore, when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school’s understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student.”
Just to clarify; for Trinity Academy, simply hating LGBT people just isn’t doing it anymore. In order to get their jollies, they now have to hate anyone who lives with an LGBT person. Under this stipulation, having a gay brother, a lesbian aunt, a transgender cousin, anything of the sort is grounds for the non LGBT student to be expelled from school if that person lives in the same home. Per the rules of the school itself, a suspension of this variety prohibits the student from re-applying for a year.
How do they even go about verifying this? Some kind of inquisition? Do they interrogate each member of the family? Comb through personal documents? Compare photos from pride parades?
I can only speculate on the reason here. Sure, it could just be more unabashed hatred from the far right, but it could also be an attempt to ensure that families hate their gay relatives as well. My own parents were pressured by mainstream televangelists to disown me when I was outed. Perhaps Trinity’s hoping that if they can turn families against their LGBT members, suicides will increase, and there will be less gay people for them to be bothered by.
Does it sound extreme? Perhaps. But when you attend a school that requires you to attend a verifiable Christian church, to never have sex until you’re married, teaches Creationism (p.18) as if it were a valid scientific concept, and forbids you from being related to a gay person, I can only imagine the worst.
Feature image is the official logo of the school.