A Louisiana five-year-old was allegedly forced out of her kindergarten class at a religious school because her parents are a same-sex couple.
Emily and Jennie Parker said they were informed by school officials at the Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, during a meeting with the school’s director and a pastor that their same-sex relationship did not follow the teachings of the school and that they would need to find a new school for their daughter, Zoey.
“We got called into the principal’s office for a meeting, they informed us that Zoey wouldn’t be able to go to school there anymore because of our lifestyle choices,” said Jennifer Parker, 31, to KPLC, a local news affiliate.
Emily Parker, 28, said that the meeting took place only two days before the school year started. During the conference, she and her wife also were told that, as a religious-based school, the school would teach students that marriage was between a man and a woman.
The Parkers recently adopted Zoey, who is Jennie’s niece, after her father died in a workplace accident in September 2020.
“She lost her father, she lost her mother and now she’s losing her school which she loves very much,” said Jennie to KPLC.
Zoey had previously attended pre-school at Bible Baptist Academy, where, the couple told NBC News, Zoey had many friends and teachers she liked.
The Parkers said that after Zoey’s exclusion from the school, they have received widespread support from the community.
The couple also said they have received several offers from other local Christian schools for Zoey to start her kindergarten year.
“It’s a blessing in disguise,” said Jennie to KPLC. “We have an opportunity to bring her to a school which is a little closer and it’s a new opportunity for her to make new friends.”
Bible Baptist Academy published a statement on their dismissal of the Parkers, writing, in part, that the school is “committed to instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture.”
It added: “As a Baptist academy, we are also committed to provide an environment that is consistent with the beliefs that we hold. We want our students to not only know our beliefs, but we want them to see them as well. Regarding personal relationships, we hold that those relationships, whether in dating or in marriage, should be between a man and a woman.”