Young girl breaches Christian school’s ‘biblical standards’

Young girl breaches Christian school’s ‘biblical standards’

THE Virginia grandparents of a girl have been asked not to re-enrol her at  Timberlake Christian School because her boyish appearance is “unbiblical” and is a source of confusion to other pupils.

Doris and Carroll Thompson are Sunnie’s grandparents, and in February they received a letter from the school’s K-8 principal, Becky Bowman, which reminded them that Timberlake:

Is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment. We believe that our biblical role is to work in conjunction with with the home to mold students to be Christlike.

The letter goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl and specifies that administrators can refuse enrolment for:

Condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.

Ms Bowman missive goes on to reference specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs, and reads, in part:

We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.

Said Carroll Thompson, who, together with her husband, are also Sunnie’s adoptive parents:

How do you label a child, eight years old, or discriminate against an eight year old child? It just don’t happen. How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants a shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can’t, you’ve got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you’ve got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can’t do that.

School administrators said they have not accused Sunnie of being anything or anyone and simply asked that her family follow the guidelines they set forth for all students.

The Thompsons now say they have no desire to re-enrol Sunnie at Timberlake Christian.

Hat tip: Canada Dave and BarrieJohn

50 responses to “Young girl breaches Christian school’s ‘biblical standards’”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    The Thompsons now say they have no desire to re-enrol Sunnie at Timberlake Christian.

    Good for them. One more child freed from the clutches of religious insanity.

  2. Har Davids says:

    Once the hair is fixed, they should look into the fibres the girl’s t-shirt is made of; they might be mixed. And is Becky, presumably of female persuasion, sure she qualifies to be prinicpal of any school? It’s this kind of uppity behaviour by women the bible frowns upon, expecting women to know their place, which is in the kitchen, pregnant, preparing food for their lords and masters.

    Betty certainly doesn’t pull her punches, indirectly accusing an eight years old girl of condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Luke 2:23 says “Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.” Females, eh. Once again the bigots and bullies are found to have the Bible on their side and the considerate are found to be distorting the Bible.

  4. Carl Kolotylo says:

    Heard a good quote. Christians want to roll back the clock to when the church had absolute power and pretty much ruled the western world. this time was called the dark ages.

  5. Stephen Mynett says:

    From the letter: “we love Sunnie and want what is best for her.”

    I would have thought a good education that does not involve discrimination would be the best for any young person. Of course, acceptance of others is not exactly a priority for theists.

  6. Peterat says:

    They can buy a talking snake, a talking, burning bush, water into wine, rising from the dead, crackers into human flesh, but not a young girl wanting to express herself differently? It appears that the only gender confusion here is within the school board! I wonder what Jesus would say??

  7. Broga says:

    The subtext of these rules, imposed on a eight year old child, is the desire for power. And it is an arbitrary, cruel and malicious power. The only people who “know” what is right and acceptable are these strutting bigots. And they only “know”. after deciding amongst themselves what is right.

    This could not be otherwise as their “knowledge” is extracted from confused ancient texts describing mythical events that should have no place, other than as legends, in the modern world. And how they must massage each others frail egos as they decide to impose their puny authority on an eight year old girl.

    What sensible parent could possibly allow their child to be “educated” in any school tainted by these clowns’ attentions.

  8. jay says:

    Appalling. But functionally no different from the plague of arbitrary authoritarian rules imposed in both public and private schools across this country. Hair color, style, clothing, jewelry …. basically “we don’t like it so we’ll ban it. … because WE CAN “. Even activities off school property.

    Students today don’t know of the time (late 60s early 70s) where students actually had rights.

  9. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Poor bloody kid, 8 years old and told that her appearance is unacceptable. What the fuck do they think that would do for her self confidence? Sick bastards.

  10. Stephen Mynett says:

    Graham, I doubt they would care at all about fucking with the child’s mind, if they can persuade her she is a an emotional and psychological mess it will improve their chances of a successful indoctrination when they “cure” her.

    Relious bastards like this are parasites, they love picking on those who they perceive to be weak, either phsysically or mentally, as it always looks an easy target for another convert.

  11. Atheist Nick says:

    Isn’t Jesus always depicted as having LONG hair? If Sunnie is boyish, do they consider him girlish?

  12. AgentCormac says:

    There’s nothing these fuckers love more than their own odious, ludicrous rules. Unless it’s someone who doesn’t conform to them, in which case they can wallow in the self-importance of humiliating an 8-year-old child. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids.

  13. Such stuff happens throughout the world. It happens even in Britain. At least, when I was at school. In the seventies it was de rigueur for boys to be sanctioned for having hair too long. In fact there was a story about a boy who was suspended for having his hair too *short* at one time, because it meant he identified with the Skinheads, at the time a verboten underclass.

    The only difference here is that they dress up their arbitrary dress-code with pompous and pious religious platitudes rather than just say: dress code, abide by it or go away.

  14. georgina says:

    Truthfully, if I loved the child I would worry more about her health and weight than the length of her hair. Priorities.

    Yes I know, big is beautiful, but a double chin at age 8 is not.

  15. barriejohn says:

    What sort of person writes to a client or customer with a list of Bible references as justification for their policies? These people inhabit a strange little parallel universe of their own. But who in their right mind would choose to send their child to this hotbed of fundamentalist indoctrination?

    Timberlake Christian Schools, founded in 1966, is one of the first private schools to exist in the Lynchburg, VA area. One of the largest ministries of Timberlake Baptist Church, TCS strives for academic excellence with a Christ-centered, discipleship focus. Students are grounded in the truths and implications of the Gospel through the preaching and teaching of our daily Bible classes, weekly chapels and accountability groups, as well as a curriculum consistently taught from a biblical worldview.

    What has any of that to do with education? I wouldn’t let a child of mine within a thousand miles of these people!

  16. Stephen Mynett says:

    Barriejohn, this will help answer your who in the right mind question.

    “My daughter Savanna is five years old. She is in Miss Smith’s Pre-K class. Savanna is up at 6:00 am every day and on weekends wanting to go to school. When I get out of my car you can feel the love of the Lord. All the parents say Hi, everyone holds the door for you , the staff is great and the kids are so happy to be there. After I leave I don’t need a cup of coffee or soda, because I feel so good, feeling the love of the Lord in the school.

    Terresa McCabe Forest, VA”

    If that is an average parent at that Indoctrination Centre, I refuse to call it a school, there is little hope for the children being brainwashed there.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Here is their response to the media furore:

    The Church and the School have a responsibility to all students, their parents, and guardians. Parents and guardians send their children to the School because of our Christian beliefs and standards. We have a duty to create an environment that is supportive of these Christian values. We cannot have conflicting messages or standards because such conflict will confuse our students and frustrate the parents and guardians who have entrusted the education of their children to us…While we welcome all students, parents and guardians are made aware of the School’s Christian mission and beliefs. We not only have a right, but we also have a duty to uphold these Christian standards.

    The reference to “restroom” problems looks like sheer desperation where children of this age are concerned. In the estimation of these good Christian people (and I have seen evidence of this myself) if you don’t fit in or won’t conform then Jesus doesn’t want you!

  18. barriejohn says:

    The educational philosophy of Timberlake Christian Schools is based upon the Biblical view of truth and man as set forth in the Bible. The verbally inspired Word of God in its truthfulness and completeness is the only criterion–the supreme and final authority for faith and practice, and therefore, is the starting point of all rational inquiry and the guide to all interpretation of reality (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is the source of the principles determining other subjects and the way in which they are taught. The presentation of Biblical truth is thus not confined to a single segment of the curriculum–the study of the Bible–but is integrated throughout the teaching of all subjects. This facet of TCS makes us unique among most schools in our community. (Thank Christ for that.)

    There is much more here in the same vein here:

  19. Mathematics: 1+1+1 = 1, oh good, no confusion there, then.

  20. 1859 says:

    ‘…her god-ordained identity.’ WTF ! If stupidity had a depth these people would crawling around in the fucking ooze!

    Let’s hope this xtian institution has created another non-believer.

  21. Robster says:

    Quoted: “to mold students to be Christlike”. Oh goody, lots of barefoot, hirsute, (seemingly)unemployable, itinerant magicians wandering about telling silly stories and doing tricks for a gullible audience. That’s a positive thing for the kiddies, suppose they could start in the canteen whipping up a feed for the students from a bun and a fishfinger. Then turn the water into Coke while preaching nonsense. The Baby jesus was allegedly a carpenter. I’ve never seen any mention of anything he made or built. A failed carpenter perhaps. Why would you want your kids to be christlike?

  22. Dan Klang says:

    Ah…the wisdom of the pious is a wonderful thing. These people know what god wants and will zealously do it. Whether it’s evangelical loon school teachers bullying little kids in virginia or murderous Kalashnikov wielding throat cutting islamofacist rebels in Africa it’s all the same basic bigotry. It’s the will of god…..and, in their nasty shit laden constipated minds, these people know what god wants. Religion, the ultimate blight on humanity.

  23. “… turn the water into Coke while preaching nonsense.”

    The trouble is, a lot of the sayings attributed to JC are not actually nonsense, they make sound moral sense from a humanist point of view (e.g. don’t boast about how spiritual you are, but keep your prayer behind closed doors; don’t escalate conflict over insults; be nice to people; don’t be overly emotionally attached to money; remember that people doing unpopular jobs are people too) so on that level he isn’t speaking “nonsense”.

    No, the problem is that because he (is supposed to have) said those things, it is assumed that *only* the people who profess to follow him are *allowed* to hold those moral precepts.

    And of course the stinking irony to this is that those people who profess to follow JC are most unlikely to truly follow those precepts.

  24. tony e says:

    Amongst their soundbites they used the tired old phrase ‘christian values’ (surely the greatest oxymoron ever).

  25. barriejohn says:

    Matt: My feeling is that much that Jesus said probably WAS pure messianic, apocalyptic nonsense, and, as you say, those “wise” things that he was “supposed to have said” were introduced by early Christians. Forgive me for banging on about the Dead Sea Scrolls again, but what I discovered about them had a profound effect upon me as a young Christian. Many evangelicals still look for “proof” of the existence of Jesus, and the historicity of the Christian gospels, in them, but what they really show is that Jesus was not unique, and that much of what he is supposed to have taught was current amongst esoteric Jewish groups of the time. Some of their teachings are, almost verbatim, what is found in the gospels, yet there is no direct reference to Jesus himself, which would be most odd were he the original, unique and revolutionary source, as Christians claim. Of course, as you say, it is ridiculous to claim that only Christians can live moral lives because THEIR holy book contains certain moral precepts with which we can all agree. Other moral codes have, obviously, been very similar – and wouldn’t it be a good idea, indeed, if those who espoused these ideas actually followed them?

  26. andym says:

    @ tony e. “Islamic values” could run it close.

  27. AgentCormac says:

    Obama to legitimise sinister regime built on threats, violence, crimes against humanity and lies:

  28. barriejohn says:

    AC: When these people meet the Pope you wonder what on earth they find to talk about. But then I see David Cameron marching up and down “reviewing troops” at some foreign airport and think to myself: “Hasn’t he got more important things to do?”.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Slightly more on topic (but only just!): wouldn’t these Christians be happier in North Korea?

  30. AgentCormac says:

    @ barriejohn

    I saw that article and was horrified – an entire nation looking like complete twats.

  31. tony e says:


    I sent off the post without fully checking it.

    I had not yet added ‘They have not appeared to use the word ‘compassion’ in any of their statements.

  32. barriejohn says:

    @tony e: “We love Sunnie and do want the best for her.” (That’s a direct quote, BTW.) “I wish you’d stop being so good to me” (Cool Hand Luke – one of my favourite film quotes).

    AC: I’ll trump that!

  33. Brian Jordan says:

    @Carl Kolotylo

    Heard a good quote. Christians want to roll back the clock to when the church had absolute power and pretty much ruled the western world. this time was called the dark ages.

    And here are a scary brigade who are after doing it, now. The Seven Mountains Movement:

  34. barriejohn says:

    BJ et al: Look at some of the comments here.

    When our Judeo-Christian-Tea minister candidate wins the election, secular government regulations will no longer apply to us. However, we are required, by God, to obey the Ten Commandments.

    Gawd help us!

  35. barriejohn says:


    See? They really are acting out of “love”.

  36. AgentCormac says:

    @ barriejohn

    Game set and match I think you’ll find.

  37. Broga says:

    The BBC news item on radio early this morning had a typical spin. They speculated that Frankie would be questioning Obama about the USA policies on abortion, contraception and gay marriage. The implication was that Obama would be under some pressure.

    They didn’t even wonder if Obama would be questioning Frankie about the endemic paedophilia in his church, the reception of drugs in the Vatican, the corruption in the Vatican bank or the priests at gay parties in Rome.

    The BBC, now increasingly worried about getting people to pay their licence fees, is supposed to be an objective source of news. This kind of religious reporting does not encourage support for the organisation.

  38. AgentCormac says:


    You only have yourself to blame – you made me do this!

  39. tony e says:



    It’s all down to how to describe love!

  40. John says:

    “This country is founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Therefore all Jews and Christians are automatically exempt from all government regulations because of their religions. It’s called separation of Church and State. Come 2017, our Judeo-Christian-Tea president will issue an edict that confirms this right of Jews and Christians.”

    That is a lot of crazy.

  41. barriejohn says:

    John: “A better cure is to elect a Judeo-Christian-Tea minister president. Then we the the Judeo-Christians will have it all our own way, by decree from our president. Government regulations will no longer apply to us.”

    Is that Bibword serious, or are his posts ironic? I can’t make it out really.

  42. remigius says:

    We believe that our biblical role is to work in conjunction with with the home to mold students to be Christlike.

    Yeah, but according to modern scholars he would have looked something like this, had he actually existed. Which he didn’t.

    If only she could grow a beard to hide those chins, then she’s nailed it!

  43. Hio says:

    What are these “so called parents” teaching their kids, that’s its ok to exclude those that are different, discriminate. Did Christ exclude Mary Magdalene, no he did not. This tomboy should be sought out and brought back into the flock and accepted with all her differences and judge not by her looks, but by the content of their character. I hope the school and parents are not judge as they have judged others, when their time comes.

  44. andym says:

    tony e. I wasn’t critiquing your post. Merely pointing out the Islamic values are as atavistic as Christian ones.

  45. Pete H says:

    AC – I wouldn’t be so sure that the young girl is free from religious insanity.

    In an article I read, her guardian whilst expressing her disdain for the decision, was quoted as saying that the child has “accepted Jesus”.

  46. Paul Cook says:

    Does the school have a uniform? umm.. no.
    So why tell the little 8 year old girl whats right and whats wrong in dressing based on a known set of lies and falsehoods? None of which make sense.