A married same-sex couple was allegedly told their newly adopted daughter could not attend kindergarten at a religious school in Louisiana due to their “lifestyle choices.”
Emily and Jennie Parker shared how on Saturday, discovered how they needed to find a new school for their 5-year-old daughter, Zoey, a kindergartner, due to their marriage. According to the school, their marriage didn’t adhere to the teachings at the Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, per a phone interview with NBC News this past Wednesday.
Kindergartner Reportedly Kicked Out Of School Due To Parents Being A Same-Sex Couple
“Because of our lifestyle choices, we wouldn’t be a good fit for the school,” Jennie Parker, 31, said they were told during a meeting with a pastor and the school’s director.
Emily Parker, 28, stated during the meeting only two days before the school year was set to begin, the pastor informed her Bible Baptist Academy was a religious-based institution that taught more than just academics. She says he told her marriage is between a man and a woman only and that is what was taught at the school.
The kindergartner-to-be attended pre-school at the school last year. She had many friends there and adored her teachers, according to the couple. According to a statement posted on the school’s website:
“At BBA, we are 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 because we have been created in the image of God. 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. We encourage them to show love and compassion to everyone,” the school said.
“As a Baptist academy, we are also committed to provide an environment that is consistent with the beliefs that we hold. 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.”
The school also said in the statement, “There are times where our commitment to upholding our Christian values will not line up with the values of other people. This should not be interpreted that we have any hatred or malice toward them.”
Emily Parker, who is Zoey’s biological aunt, adopted the 5-year-old kindergartner on Aug. 3 after Zoey’s father died at 22 following an accident at his job in September 2020, she said.
The Parkers have been married since 2016.
When they were informed why their daughter could not attend school at the Bible Baptist Academy as a kindergartner – Emily Parker said she was insulted and slightly embarrassed.
“We’ve never been confronted so bluntly about our relationship,” she said. “Our love, our marriage, has always felt natural. Our families have always made us feel like we are two people who love each other. This was a big slap in the face.”
She added that as a private school, school administrators can apparently determine who can go there. However, “They don’t get to discriminate quietly,” Emily Parker said.
The pair said in hindsight, that they are thankful their daughter is not being taught at the Bible Baptist Academy.
Since the weekend meeting with school officials, the couple said public and private schools have reached out to them.
Jennie Parker said their treatment has not deterred their faith in Christianity.
“There are good Christians out there. The whole community of DeQuincy has shown us what it is to be a good Christian and to not preach hate like this,” she said. “They are the reason why we kept the faith.”
Zoey was enrolled this week in the Hamilton Christian School in Lake Charles, her parents said.
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