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Christian School in Virginia Drives Eight-Year-Old Tomboy Out

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

A Christian school in Virginia has reportedly driven out an eight-year-old girl because of her "boyish looks," saying that God had made her female, and she should dress and act as such.

A recent article by WDBJ7 reports that Campbell County youth Sunnie Kahle received a letter from the administrators at Timberlake Christian School, where she was a student, telling her that it was their right to refuse students who contradict a "biblical lifestyle."

"We believe that unless Sunnie and 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," Bowman wrote in the letter, which was given to WDBJ7 by Thompson.

Kahle's legal guardian, great-grandmother Doris Thompson, was deeply offended by the letter, saying, "Sunnie realizes she's a female, but she wants to do boy things. She wants to play rough and tough."

She said that Kahle has always preferred "boy hobbies" like her collection of coins, hunting knives, and autographed baseballs. But when the girl asked to have her long hair cut short several years ago, her appearance caught the attention of school administrators.

"She had hair down to her waist and she wanted to give it to a child with cancer," said Thompson. "After we cut her hair she started wanting to wear jeans and a t-shirt. She didn't want to wear her frilly dresses anymore."

Apparently, that good deed was enough to brand the little girl a heretic, as school officials questioned her sexual morality for wanting to wear pants with her school uniform.

"To claim that we are condoning sexual immorality in our home is nonsense," Thompson said. "We are Christians. We understand the Bible. Sunnie knows it very well. She has accepted Christ."

Thompson removed her granddaughter from Timberlake and enrolled her in public school, saying that while Kahle is too young to understand sexual orientation or gender issues, "If my child grows up to be homosexual or transgendered, I will love her that much more."

Timberlake Christian Schools Administrator Jeff Abbett sent a letter to WDBJ7 after the report, saying that they were "heart-broken that Sunnie's grandparents have made her the subject of a public discussion" but also adding that "there is much more to this story than has been revealed related to Sunnie and the classroom environment."

The situation is similar to a recent EDGE report about Grayson Bruce, the nine-year-old North Carolina boy who came under fire from school officials for his decision to wear a My Little Pony backpack to school.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  • MNrainbow, 2014-03-29 16:48:07

    Who’s to decide what a boy or girl should look or act like? Its simply an opinion to say girls should have long hair or boys cant wear pink... Stop using your opinions to push others around!

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