Tomboy told by Christian school to dress more girly

TIMBERLAKE, Va. - A Virginia girl's family says a Christian school discriminated against the child because of the way she looks.

Sunnie Kahle is 8-years-old. She has short hair, a huge heart, and as far as her grandparents are concerned, is a completely normal little girl.

"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," said her grandmother, Doris Thompson.

Doris and Carroll Thompson, are Sunnie's grandparents. They adopted and raised the little girl and took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received a letter from the K-8 principal, Becky Bowman.

"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," the letter said.

The letter goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or a girl and specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity, even referencing specific bible verses that affirm these beliefs.

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"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," Bowman said in the letter.

"How do you label a child, 8-years-old, or discriminate against an 8-year-old child? It just don't happen," said Caroll.

"Sunnies says, 'I'm a girl, I know I'm a girl,' and she said then you know, you're acting like and looking, and wanting to look and act like a boy," said Doris.

An administrator from Timberlake Christian, would not go on camera but told WSET-TV the problem with Sunnie goes quote "far beyond her hair length," that the little girl is a good student, but that "things disturbed the classroom environment."

"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants and shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can't, you've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can't do that," said Doris.

The family says they have no desire to re-enroll Sunnie at the school.


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