Christian school warns that pupils with LGBT siblings could be expelled

Trinity Academy's motto is "truth, faith, character".

A Christian academy in the United States has been criticised for claiming the right to expel a pupil if a sibling or another relative in the home comes out as gay.

Trinity Academy, a private Christian high school in Wichita, Kansas, says in its statement of understanding that "when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school's understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student."

The document, obtained by the Patheos blog, is sent to the parents of pupils who wish to apply for school, and must be signed by all parents and pupils.


It states: "Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school's traditional, Christian understanding of those issues."

Patheos interprets the document as on the more conservative side: "It wouldn't even be enough that the sibling was celibate, by this rule; the fact that someone gay lives at home could be a deal-breaker."

A so-called Statement of Understanding sent to parents who wish to send their children to the private school located in Wichita, requires them to agree that a student who attends can be asked to leave if their home life promotes anything "counter to the school's understanding of a biblical lifestyle". 

The document is not on the school's website.

Pink News reports that the school's website appears more moderate: "We believe in a biblical perspective for all areas of life. In the social arena, Trinity Academy seeks to impart a respect for the sanctity of life and an abhorrence for the sins of idolatry, abortion, euthanasia, sexual impurity, racism, lying, stealing, gossip, slander, greed, injustice, prejudice, and the abuse of the body through the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco."

Under the 1972 Education Act, publicly-funded schools cannot discriminate against LGBT students, but private schools are not necessarily bound by this and religious schools can ask to be exempt from.

However, religious schools are able to request exemptions and more than 230 have been granted these. In addition, private schools are not always bound by the legislation.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told Pink News: "We believe that religious liberty is a bedrock principle of our nation, however, faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination."

Christian Today tried to reach out to Trinity for comment, but both its website and Facebook page were unavailable.