‘She lost her father, she lost her mother and now she’s losing her school which she loves very much,’ adoptive parent says
The daughter of a same-sex couple has been rejected from attending a religious school because of the parents’ marriage.
The story of Jennifer and Emily Parker went viral after their social media posts concerning the message from the school rejecting their daughter Zoey’s ability to attend.
The five-year-old was set to start kindergarten on Monday at Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, but the parents said that school leaders informed them last week that Zoey was no longer welcome, according to KPLC.
“We got called into the principal’s office for a meeting, they informed us that Zoey wouldn’t be able to go to school there anymore because of our lifestyle choices,” Jennifer Parker told the station.
The married couple adopted Jennifer’s niece Zoey after her father was involved in an industrial accident in 2020. The adoption was officially finished last week.
“She lost her father, she lost her mother and now she’s losing her school which she loves very much,” Jennifer Parker told KPLC.
It wasn’t Zoey’s first year at the school, where she had been attending pre-K, but her situation at the institution changed when it became known that her new parents were a same-sex couple.
“On the 3rd [of August], we adopted her and we went to open house, we got the uniforms, we got the fees,” Emily Parker said. The pastor and the principal told them about the rejection at the weekend.
“The pastor met us in the meeting room and started talking about gender identification and that they teach the words of the Lord and marriage was between a man and a woman,” Emily Parker told KPLC. “They didn’t think this was a good fit.”
Bible Baptist Academy said in a statement that they’re “committed to instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture. We believe that the Bible teaches that every life has value and that there is dignity in all of us”.
“The Bible also teaches us to love everyone with the love of God despite their personal choices. We strive to teach this to the students who attend,” the school said, Volgens KPLC. “We encourage them to show love and compassion to everyone.”
The school added that “we want our students to not only know our beliefs, but we want them to see them as well. Regarding personal relationships, we hold that those relationships, whether in dating or in marriage, should be between a man and a woman”.
“There are times where our commitment to upholding our Christian values will not line up with the values of other people,” the academy noted, also saying that “this should not be interpreted that we have any hatred or malice toward them. We are just as committed to loving all people as we are to holding to Bible principles that people may not agree with or may not understand”.
Jennifer Parker told KPLC that they’ve received strong support from the surrounding community, including offers for Zoey to attend other schools.
“It’s a blessing in disguise," sy het gese. “We have an opportunity to bring her to a school which is a little closer and it’s a new opportunity for her to make new friends.”
In a Facebook post on the evening of 6 Augustus, Emily Parker slammed the school as a “disappointment”.
“You know what you just taught my daughter? How truly judgmental your church is," sy het geskryf. “How unforgiving and unrelenting you are. Ek was kwaad, seer, embarrassed but I am not anymore. Nou, I am thankful. Thankful you will not mould my tiny human’s brain to be anything like you. I will teach my child to love EVERYONE just like you say your God is supposed to.”