Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Facebook/Emily Elizabeth Parker
A religious school in Louisiana has rejected a girl from attending because of her adoptive same-sex parent’s marriage.
Jennifer and Emily Parker’s 5-year-old, Zoey, was set to start kindergarten on Monday (8 August) at Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, but school leaders informed the parents that their child would no longer be welcome.
Zoey had attended the school in a pre-kindergarten year group but the situation allegedly changed when the institution became aware that the child’s parents were a same-sex couple.
“We got called into the principal’s office for a meeting, they informed us that Zoey wouldn’t be able to go to school there anymore because of our lifestyle choices,” Jennifer Parker told KPLC.
Over the weekend (6 August), Emily Parker heavily criticised the school’s decision in a Facebook post, writing: "I was angry, hurt, embarrassed but I am not anymore. Now, I am thankful. Thankful you will not mould my tiny human’s brain to be anything like you. I will teach my child to love EVERYONE just like you say your God is supposed to."
The couple officially adopted Zoey, Jennifer’s niece, last week (3 August) after the girl’s father was in an industrial accident in 2020.
“She lost her father, she lost her mother and now she’s losing her school which she loves very much,” Jennifer Parker continued.
“The pastor met us in the meeting room and started talking about gender identification and that they teach the words of the Lord and marriage was between a man and a woman,” Emily Parker continued. “They didn’t think this was a good fit.”
KPLC published the full statement from Bible Baptist Academy which includes that the school is “committed to instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture” and that they encourage students to “show love and compassion to everyone.”
“This should not be interpreted that we have any hatred or malice toward them,” the statement continues."We are just as committed to loving all people as we are to holding to Bible principles that people may not agree with or may not understand.”
Although the news is disappointing for the family, Jennifer notes they had reviewed strong support from their community and offers for Zoey to attend other schools.
“It’s a blessing in disguise,” she said. “We have an opportunity to bring her to a school which is a little closer and it’s a new opportunity for her to make new friends.”
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