03/13/2012 10:49 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Kiah Zabel, Michigan College Student, Reportedly Threatened With Campus Housing Expulsion After Coming Out On Facebook

A Michigan-based lesbian student claims to have been threatened to be thrown out of her Christian college's on-campus housing if she doesn't remove references to her sexuality on Facebook.

As Fox Detroit is reporting, 19-year-old Rochester College student Kiah Zabel says she came out as a lesbian on Facebook, posting a photo with the title, "Out...Proud...Lesbian." Shortly after the photo was posted, Zabel says she received a letter from Rochester College's Dean of Students, asking her to remove the photo and caption.

"I appreciate your move towards honesty and being the real you, but I'm going to have to insist that you change your Facebook banner picture," Brian Cole is quoted as having written in the letter. "'Out...Proud...Lesbian' is not really consistent with the heritage of Rochester College and has proven to already be disruptive among fellow students who are really bothered by it."

Cole also reportedly went on to note that if Zabel refused to remove the image, she could be kicked out of on-campus housing. "I have to hide [my sexual orientation] and I can't talk about it or anything, and I have to conform to everything the school says," Zabel explained to ABC 57. “I just told [the Dean of Students] it wasn't fair and I told him it was discrimination."

Meanwhile, Rochester College President Rubel Shelly has released a statement to MLive.com, which notes, "The report that the college has asked Ms. Zabel to leave the school is incorrect. She has not been dismissed or threatened with dismissal from the college. Such action would be inconsistent with the college's principles and established practice."

Still, Shelly added, "The essential values of the college are well-known and widely published, and students tend to choose Rochester College based on their sympathy with these values. Students who find themselves uncomfortable with these standards always have options at other schools in the area."

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