A Tennessee private school's decision to ban any mention of homosexuality among its student body is raising more than a few eyebrows among parents.
Tennessee's WREG News has an extensive report on the new ban at Rossville Christian Academy. A letter which was sent home to parents reportedly reads as follows:
"A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy. Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal. Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted."
Still, one parent, whose name was not disclosed, said they believed the ban at Rossville, a private school with about 300 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, is illegally aimed at one gay student. "My initial reaction is that it was specifically aimed at one person, and I felt very sad about that," the parent said. "If my daughter spoke about someone who was gay is she going to be expelled for that or is she going to be put in detention?"
Though school officials have not commented on the policy, University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy said that, with no state or federal law preventing anti-gay discrimination, the stance is legal, and given that the academy is a Christian-based school, there may be even more protections in place.
Interestingly, as The New Civil Rights Movement points out, Rossville Christian Academy's website notes that the school "exists to challenge a diverse student body through high academic standards, seeking to instill and inspire Christian virtues in a safe and nurturing environment."
Last month, Shorter University, a Christian Baptist school located in Rome, Ga., mandated that its 200 employees sign a "personal lifestyle pledge" declaring that they reject homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery.