Sunnie Kahle is like lots of other young girls. She likes to run around outside. She loves her grandparents. She has a big, warm smile.
But unlike most 8-year-old girls, Sunnie has had to endure humiliation at the hands of her educators: Her grandparents have pulled her out of the private Timberlake Christian School in Lynchburg, Va This happened after they received a letter that made it clear their adopted child was no longer welcome.
The letter criticized Sunnie for confusing the other students about her gender identity, and went on to imply that the child was sexually immoral. The school referenced Bible versions they interpreted to affirm Christianity’s opposition to homosexuality and alternative gender identities.
“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 [Timberlake Christian School] is not the best place for her future education,” the letter from school administrator Becky Bowman reads.
Sunnie keeps her hair short and likes wearing sporty clothing, which seems like good old fashioned common sense for a kid who likes going outside. But her preference for a close crop has made her ostracized at her school.
“She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends,” her grandmother, Doris Thompson, told the local news. Sunnie now attends public school.
Sunnie isn’t the only little kid getting kicked around by school officials that favor dress codes more than common sense and compassion: a little girl who shaved her head to support her friend with cancer was suspended from her Colorado school, although the decision was reversed after the incident garnered viral support through social media.
Here’s hoping something similar can happen in Sunnie’s case.
Photo via WSET.com