Trinity Academy, a private Christian school in Wichita Kansas, locked out NBC 3 reporters looking for clarification about its contradictory statement regarding their written policy of expelling LGBT students, as well as those who have LGBT family members, friends or allies.
Following a document leak to the Atheist publication Patheos, it has been revealed that the school has been using a document that states their intention to discriminate against people for having LGBT+ family members, a document that they require all of their students and their parents to sign upon enrolment.
The document says, ‘Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the schools 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 of 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 the enrolment of a current student.’
In the US the Education Act means that schools with public funding are legally unable to discriminate against students due to their LGBT+ status, however, religious schools are able to request exemptions to this.
Following the release of this document and the subsequent media attention Trinity Academy have released a statement denying that they have ever acted upon this agreement they have been making their students and their families sign, claiming that they have never discriminated against a member of the LGBT+ community, or a member of their family.
The school has said that the document only exists to make prospective students and their parents aware of the values that the school has. When speaking to KSN News they also went on to say that they would not and have not denied admission to a student for having an LGBT+ relative.
‘The foundation of Trinity Academy’s success is that we are dedicated to the partnering with our families for the education of their students. Because of this dedication, our entire application process is designed to make sure new families know who we are and what we believe. Trinity Academy hold biblical views on human sexuality and gay marriage and we want prospective families to understand that. We feel that it is only fair given the disagreement and discord in our society over such issues. It is then up to the family as to whether they feel they can partner with Trinity and support these biblical Christian views.
‘Trinity would not and has not denied admission to a student simply because they have a sibling who is gay. Neither would we necessarily deny admission to a student with same sex attraction. We do not condone sexual activity of any kind for our students whether heterosexual or homosexual.
‘Again, Trinity’s whole intent is to make sure families know what we believe so we can partner together successfully for the good of the students.’
The Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin spoke out on the issue, saying; ‘The alarming and growing trend of schools quietly seeking the right to discriminate against LGBT students, and not disclosing that information publicly, is what spurred our call for greater transparency. We believe that religious liberty is a bedrock principle in our nation, however, faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination.’
Despite Trinity Academy denying that they have ever discriminated against any students, or potential students, over the policy it should be noted that this information was only made public following a leak, and that before that their website displayed a ‘friendly’ faith statement.
The school policy that they believe their students and their families should live a biblical lifestyle only seems to take into account LGBT+ issues, and does not extend to areas such as eating shellfish or wearing clothing made from two different types of fabrics, all things that the bible says people should not do. As with other ‘Christian’ groups who speak out against LGBT+ rights Trinity Academy would appear to be picking and choosing which parts of the bible they want to uphold in an attempt to justify and uphold discriminatory viewpoints.