Reading, writing, and ‘looking girly enough’

The grandparents of an 8-year-old Lynchburg, Va., girl have been told by her private Christian school that Sunnie Kahle’s short hair, T-shirts, and interest in baseball is causing confusion for her classmates who can’t tell whether she’s a boy or a girl, the Washington Post reports.

“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment,” the letter home said. “We believe that unless Sunnie as well as 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.”

“She had hair down to her waist and she wanted to give it to a child with cancer,” her grandmother told WDBJ TV. “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.”

Yesterday, the school issued this statement:

For confidentiality reasons related to a minor, it is not possible for us to explain in full detail the volume of documentation we have concerning the situation that the grandparents have made public. There is much more to this story than has been revealed related to Sunnie and the classroom environment. Our documentation shows a significantly different narrative than the one portrayed in the original news report.

You can be assured that we have cared for Sunnie and worked with her grandparents for several years to assist them. Our TCS teachers and administrators love Sunnie and we can assure everyone that this has never been an issue of hair length or boots as it has been portrayed. It has been our constant desire over the last several years to work with this family and to shepherd this precious little girl in a way consistent with traditional values.

As a private Christian school, we have the responsibility to all our students to assist parents to instill the Christian values upon which our school is founded.

We reiterate that the decision to remove Sunnie was entirely that of the grandparents.

The girl is now in public school.

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  • MrE85

    I can see TSC’s point. I once heard of a boy who wore his hair long like a girl, wore some sort of dress and didn’t act the same as the other boys. (sigh) I hope the child flourishes in her new school.

  • Joe D

    Now as we know that this is an artists representation of what Christ looked like MrE85, only God would kno…,wait a minute.
    Of course the entire story as usual is MAN interpreting it as they want.
    I hope the child has a wonderful new set of friends and teachers at her new school.

  • John O.

    A young girl chooses to donate her hair for the benefit of another child who has cancer, then the “Christian” school questions the family’s values. Got it.

    • Suzanne

      My boys have had long hair, and have donated it…and the oldest one has kept his this go round (because he’s a metal head drummer!) much to his Christian grandma’s disdain.

      At least she didn’t blame me for it again the other day when we showed her video of him playing Uilleann (Irish) bagpipes! In the past, she couldn’t help with a snarky comment about how my husband and boys hair was all long, and not short and clean cut. Guess her son shouldn’t have married someone who worked at a music club…Oh that’s right…so DID HER SON!

  • Kassie

    I’m guessing public school will be the best place for this girl in the long run. Probably best for society too, one less person who will believe the earth is 2000 years old and that evolution didn’t happen.