An Oklahoma mother says her eight-year-old daughter was expelled by her private Christian school after conversing with another girl. When the mom sat down with the principal to discuss the issue, she claims things quickly went from bad to worse.
Delanie Shelton, an Oklahoma mother-of-two, was left shocked and appalled when she was allegedly called to pick up her eight-year-old daughter Chloe after the second-grader was expelled from her private Christian school. The call was reportedly prompted by an “inappropriate” remark Chloe made to another girl on the playground, causing school officials concern.
According to Shelton, her daughter was disciplined by Rejoice Christian Schools in Owasso after the child told another girl that she had a crush on her. The incident allegedly left Chloe in tears after school officials told her that the Bible only allowed her to marry a man, Daily Mail reported.
“Chloe said the vice principal sat her down and says the Bible says you can only marry a man and have children with a man. My daughter was crying, saying, ‘Does God still love me?'” Shelton told Fox 23 News. The mom said she attempted to defend her daughter, but it backfired, leading to both of her children being expelled.
“The vice-principal asked me how do I feel about girls liking girls, and I said if we’re being honest, I think it’s okay for girls to like girls and she looked shocked and appalled,” Shelton recalled. That’s allegedly when things went from bad to worse, and the school not only kicked out Chloe but Shelton’s five-year-old son as well.
“They ripped my kids out of the only school they’ve ever really known away from their teachers and friends they’ve had over the past four years over something my daughter probably doesn’t know or fully understand,” Delanie Shelton recalled, upset that she was faced with finding a new school for her daughter and son after the incident.
Shelton explained that she is trying to raise her child with the view that people should be allowed to love whoever they wanted, no matter their gender. “Whatever makes people happy they should be allowed to do,” Shelton explained. The vice-principal didn’t agree, according to the mom, and was reportedly left in shock by her admission.
Saying that they were just following protocol and that they don’t condone same-sex relationships on campus, school officials expelled the Shelton children, but Shelton argued that the school handbook made no mention of it being grounds for expulsion, according to 7 News. “The superintendent called me and let me know that they would be ending their partnership with our family,” Shelton recalled.
According to Daily Mail, however, “The school, Rejoice Christian Schools reportedly told Shelton they did not condone any relationships on campus,” and previously cited the school’s student handbook and policy. When asked for a statement on the expulsion, the school added, “Due to privacy and other factors, it is the school’s policy to refrain from public comments regarding any particular student or family.”
Rejoice Christian Schools was founded in 1992 and has more than 1,000 students enrolled. It describes itself as “One of the largest Christian schools in the Tulsa area” and states it is their “vision to be a Christian school that provides students with excellence in education and strength in character so that students will be spiritually, intellectually, physically, and socially equipped to impact their community and the world for Christ.”
“[Chloe] was upset and crying and asking me if God still loves me, if she is wrong for the way that she feels,” Delanie Shelton said, explaining that she had to console her confused daughter. Angered by the school’s response, the upset mother decided to speak out. Although she’s garnered a lot of support, there are those who believe she shouldn’t be surprised since it is a private Christian school and the views on same-sex relationships aren’t a big secret. Of course, some argue that no school — Christian or not — should make a child feel the way Chloe did.
Playing devil’s advocate, however, others question whether it was actually Chloe’s mom who made her feel the way she did when she enrolled her in a private Christian school without preparing her for the Biblical teachings she would not only be exposed to but expected to follow. Some would say that raising your kid with beliefs that conflict with Christian teaching, then enrolling them in a Christian school, is setting them up for failure. And, we can only wonder whether it was the views Delanie Shelton expressed to the vice-principle that led to the expulsion — not what her daughter said or did.
So, the question becomes whether or not a private Christian school should be permitted to adhere to Biblical principles and expect families, who wish to have their children attend, do the same. One could argue that if you want to raise your kids in a way that contradicts scripture, a private Christian school might not be your best option for their education. Then again, we could also argue that there is a better way to express Christian values than the school’s approach here. Perhaps everyone involved could have made better choices based on the values they hold dear.