A private Christian school in Tennessee has just implemented a new policy banning anything and everything about homosexuality. Rossville Christian Academy is home to about 300 students. Its new anti-gay policy states:
“Homosexuality is forbidden in scripture (Romans 1:27, Leviticus 18:22). A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy. Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal. Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted.”
On their website’s from page, Rossville Christian Academy states:
“Rossville Christian Academy exists to challenge a diverse student body through high academic standards, seeking to instill and inspire Christian virtues in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Apparently, their “diverse student body” cannot include homosexuals.
School officials may find it challenging to enforce the policy, although given that Tennessee has no laws that protect LGBT individuals, and given that the school is both private and religious, this may actually be legal.
Local News station WREG News Channel 3 quoted a parent who said, “There’s a lot of ambiguety [sic]. I believe that it can’t be enforced, how it’s worded,” the parent said. “If my daughter spoke about someone who was gay is she going to be expelled for that or is she going to be put in detention?” That parent added, “If you’re going to single out one thing that you say is a sin, then maybe we have to address every single thing.”
WREG also reported:
News Channel 3 took the policy to University of Memphis Law Professor Steve Mulroy who said the policy is legal.
“It’s entirely legal. There’s no federal or state anti-discrimination law that protects gay people,” Mulroy said.
Mulroy, who has fought for gay rights in Shelby County, says there are a few scattered local ordinances across the country that protect gays, but none in Tennessee.
“If this were a government school, a public school, there might be a free speech problem to the extent that it says “any word or action promoting it,” but there’s really no legal problem I see with this,” Mulroy said.
“Not only is this a private organization, it’s also a private religious organization, so it would probably have even more latitude under the law to have its policies about gays be whatever they want it to be,” he added.
How will the school decide what’s “homosexuality”? Listening to a Lady Gaga song? Two girls holding hands — even if they’re “just friends”? How will the school know the extent of their relationship? Watching “Will and Grace” re-runs? Even if it’s in private? How about playing rugby? There are gay rugby players, you know. Or, what about supporting a company that has a non-discrimination policy? What if a teacher has a part-time job at a company that supports equality?
And, as the parent said, let’s go after other sins in the Bible. What if they fire all teachers who don’t honor their parents?
What if they expel a student for eating shrimp, or for wearing a school uniform that’s poly-cotton?
Blasphemy is considered a sin. The Second Commandment states, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” If a football player who misses a pass utters, “Jesus Christ” in anger, does he get expelled?
Many consider the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not commit adultery,” to include masturbation, and consider masturbation to be a sin. Some have said it’s a sin of homosexuality, as it’s “sex with yourself.” Will the school fire teachers who masturbate?
It boggles the mind.
Earlier this month, a Tennessee high school teen, Jacob Rogers, succumbed to suicide after years of anti-gay bullying that friends charge went unacknowledged by local school officials. This new policy will make tragic situations like this more commonplace.
School officials will have blood on their hands.
An email to the school did not receive an immediate response.
Care to say something? Here’s the Rossville Christian Academy’s Board of Directors’ home page.
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