A Christian school in Virginia that asked a girl's guardians to make her more feminine says it has a right to demand "Christian beliefs and standards."
Sunnie Kahle's great-grandmother says she transferred the 8-year-old to public school in Campbell County in central Virginia after getting a letter from Timberlake Christian Schools in February. Her husband, Carroll Thompson, told a local TV station about the letter this week and the story quickly went national.
Doris Thompson, who has adopted her great-granddaughter with her husband, said the girl decided early on that she wanted a short boyish haircut and preferred, when given a choice, to wear slacks instead of dresses. But she said when her kindergarten teacher questioned the girl's gender identity a doctor advised her "leave that child alone."
Thompson said the letter from the school appears to have been inspired by an incident a few months ago when some boys tried to drag Sunnie into their bathroom. She got a letter from the school principal, Becky Bowman, saying it is important for students' homes to meet Biblical standards.
"This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the ability to support the moral principles of the school," Bowman said.
The school released a statement Wednesday through Liberty Counsel, a Lynchburg, Va., public interest law firm with ties to Liberty University.
"While we welcome all students, parents and guardians are made aware of the School's Christian mission and beliefs. We not only have a right, but we also have a duty to uphold these Christian standards," the statement said.