Family Says 15-Year-Old Girl Was Expelled Over A Rainbow-Themed Birthday Cake – Forbes

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A Christian school says a student went too far when she posted a rainbow-themed birthday cake on … [+] social media. (Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images)Toronto Star via Getty Images

A Christian school in Louisville, Kentucky expelled a 15-year-old girl last week after she posted a picture of herself on social media celebrating her birthday with a rainbow-themed cake. The school administration says that she had previous violations of the school code, including a hairstyle violation and bringing an e-cigarette onto campus. But the school has not denied that the post of the rainbow cake triggered the expulsion.

The girl says she isn’t gay and wasn’t even trying to send a message—the bakery described the cake as “assorted colors.” Nonetheless, according to the girl’s mother, the school principal told the girl that the cake “represents gay pride . . . when you saw the cake you should have refused it.”

The expulsion raises several important issues. One is the message it sends about Christianity and tolerance. It is one thing for a Christian school to have a rule against same-sex physical interactions, although I think that is a very bad idea. But it is several steps further to teach kids that they should be so hostile to gays and lesbians that they should send a cake back because it was rainbow-themed. Christians often complain that they are portrayed as rigid and intolerant in the media, but actions like this reinforce that stereotype.

The expulsion is also excessively punitive. If the school believes in the importance of Christian teachings, then kicking this girl out of school pushes her away from those teachings. An expulsion might be necessary for extreme behavior but it is hard to believe that a 15-year-old girl is beyond redemption for refusing to return a rainbow birthday cake, no matter how conservative the school may be.

The expulsion takes on added meaning because the Supreme Court will soon be ruling on whether a major civil rights law, Title VII, protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This student’s expulsion is a reminder that gays and lesbians still face very high levels of hostility in some parts of the country and need protection of their basic civil rights. In roughly half of all states, gays and lesbians are still unprotected by most civil rights laws.

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A Christian school in Louisville, Kentucky expelled a 15-year-old girl last week after she posted a picture of herself on social media celebrating her birthday with a rainbow-themed cake. The school administration says that she had previous violations of the school code, including a hairstyle violation and bringing an e-cigarette onto campus. But the school has not denied that the post of the rainbow cake triggered the expulsion.

The girl says she isn’t gay and wasn’t even trying to send a message—the bakery described the cake as “assorted colors.” Nonetheless, according to the girl’s mother, the school principal told the girl that the cake “represents gay pride . . . when you saw the cake you should have refused it.”

The expulsion raises several important issues. One is the message it sends about Christianity and tolerance. It is one thing for a Christian school to have a rule against same-sex physical interactions, although I think that is a very bad idea. But it is several steps further to teach kids that they should be so hostile to gays and lesbians that they should send a cake back because it was rainbow-themed. Christians often complain that they are portrayed as rigid and intolerant in the media, but actions like this reinforce that stereotype.

The expulsion is also excessively punitive. If the school believes in the importance of Christian teachings, then kicking this girl out of school pushes her away from those teachings. An expulsion might be necessary for extreme behavior but it is hard to believe that a 15-year-old girl is beyond redemption for refusing to return a rainbow birthday cake, no matter how conservative the school may be.

The expulsion takes on added meaning because the Supreme Court will soon be ruling on whether a major civil rights law, Title VII, protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This student’s expulsion is a reminder that gays and lesbians still face very high levels of hostility in some parts of the country and need protection of their basic civil rights. In roughly half of all states, gays and lesbians are still unprotected by most civil rights laws.

Source: Thanks https://www.forbes.com/sites/evangerstmann/2020/01/15/family-says-15-year-old-girl-was-expelled-over-a-rainbow-themed-birthday-cake/