Yesterday I learned of a school that banned a 9-year-old girl because she shaved her head in support of her friend who has cancer. The school told her she violated the dress code. In the news today is 8-year-old Sunnie Kahle who is being asked to dress more like a girl because the way she looks doesn't follow suit with the school's beliefs and she is confusing some of the other students.
And now I am completely disgusted.
Sunnie, who is being raised by her grandparents, attended Timberlake Christian School in Virginia. She likes wearing her hair short and prefers pants over skirts. She doesn't wear a lot of pink. The school was apparently horrified and began to worry about her gender identity, so they sent her grandparents a long letter. Here is an excerpt:
The school also claims that this is more than a short hair issue and that Sunnie has "disturbed the classroom environment." I'm proud to say that her grandparents removed Sunnie from the school. Though it's sad to hear that the 8-year-old is upset about it because she misses her friends. She's now in a public school that isn't concerned about how short her hair is or if she doesn't wear dresses.
But these kinds of things are happening.
Earlier this month, an 8-year-old boy was banned from bringing his lunch to school packed in a My Little Pony lunchbag. The reason was because he was being bullied by other kids, so the school decided to punish the child being bullied instead of teaching the bullies acceptance of a boy who likes My Little Pony.
My son is in a public pre-k within an elementary school. He has long hair. He plays princess with his sister and sometimes wears a tutu. He likes his nails painted purple. He also loves My Little Pony. In his racecar-print lunchbag is two My Little Pony toys -- Rainbow Dash and Rarity. If the school told me my son needed to be more masculine, I would do exactly as the grandparents of Sunnie have done -- make sure the world knows about what this school has done to discriminate against their child. And maybe they had to remove her from the school because it is a Catholic school, therefore private. I also wouldn't want my children around people with such narrow beliefs, or a learning institution that didn't teach kids to be individuals, to be themselves, and to accept everyone.
I still can't shake knowing how Sunnie feels -- how that smiling girl we see in the video is hurting inside because her school won't accept her for who she is, and that she is missing her friends.
What do you think of this school telling Sunnie to be more feminine or else she cannot attend next year? What would you do if you were in this situation?