A 5-year-old San Diego girl is at home, instead of starting kindergarten with her friends, because her school, the Mount Erie Christian Academy, refuses to welcome her any longer because she has two moms, KGTV reports.
The child, who had attended Mount Erie for preschool and summer school, was abruptly cut off when her parents were called in the Friday before Labor Day, just before school started, and a pastor broke the news.
“It was heartbreaking,” one of the mothers, Sheena, who didn’t want her last name disclosed, told the news station. “I didn’t finish the conversation with them when they took us in the room because I just, I didn’t want to look at them any longer. I just couldn’t believe that they did that.”
“They told us, ‘Oh, this is not about your child,’ but it is about my child,” the stay-at-home mom added.
The mothers are seeking an attorney to file a civil rights lawsuit against the school. When asked by the news team if it was discriminatory to stop the child from attending because of her mothers, a woman who described herself as the school’s director said, “The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. We don’t condone any sinful lifestyles.”
KGTV got a copy of the school’s parent-and-student handbook, which was revised over the summer. Under the school’s statement of nondiscrimination, the handbook declared the school’s right to “refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student.”
“This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school,” the handbook continued, according to the news station.
“If we knew from the beginning that this was unacceptable, they didn’t condone or believe in this, if it was such a big deal, we would have never started her off there,” Sheena countered. “I would never put my child’s emotional well-being in an unstable setting like that.”
Mount Erie, as a private institution, does have a First Amendment right to bar membership based on religious beliefs, San Diego attorney Eugene Iredale pointed out to the news station. However, Sheena says that the family is prepared to fight their case.
“I want my baby to be safe when she grows up. I don’t want her to ever have to be discriminated against because of her lifestyle. That’s not fair,” the mother said.
Meanwhile, a little girl is sitting at home, sometimes coloring by herself, as she waits to get into a new school.
“I miss my friends. I miss my teachers,” the child told the news station.
Read more at KGTV.