A private institution in Valrico, Florida, Grace Christian School, recently announced a “biological gender” policy and, as such, asked its LGBTQ+ students to leave immediately.
According to a June 6 email obtained by NBC News, Grace Christian School officials said they would only refer to students by their “gender on their birth certificates.” The email, reportedly sent by Administrator Barry McKeen, also said that pupils who are gay, transgender or gender nonconforming “will be asked to leave the school immediately.”
“We believe that God created mankind in his image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity,” the email stated. “Therefore, one’s biological sex must be affirmed and no attempts should be made to physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s biological gender — including, but not limited to, elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary gender fluid acts of conduct (Genesis 1:26-28). Students in school will be referred to by the gender on their birth certificate and be referenced in name in the same fashion.”
The email–with a subject line that said, “Important School Policy Point of Emphasis. … Please Read”–additionally referenced several scriptures in justification of Grace Christian School’s decision.
“We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgender identity/lifestyle, self-identification, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful in the sight of God and the church (Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; I Corinthians 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:2-7)…Students who are found participating in these lifestyles will be asked to leave the school immediately,” it said regarding LGBTQ+ students.
The letter also stated that parents must confirm that they’ve read, understood and accepted the regulations and procedures before their kids can begin school in August.
On Aug. 18, McKeen released a video statement confirming his stance and showed no signs of backing down to any criticism of the school’s new policy.
“It is true that a student can not come to our school … and be transgender or homosexual. This is rooted in scriptures,” he insisted in the video posted to Grace Christian School’s Facebook page. “God has spoken on those issues, explicitly, aggressively, and we have had these policies in our school since day number one in the early 1970s. This is not new.”
He continued by saying, “We are not a hateful group of people. We don’t hate students who are of a particular persuasion.”