Wichita school responds to LGBT policy controversy

Published: May. 20, 2016 at 3:23 PM CDT
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A Christian high school in Wichita denies an education to students who have gay family members. The clause in a student-parent contract is creating a social media firestorm.

Eyewitness News spoke with people on both sides of the issue. Some people say the private school has every right to demand certain requirements for students to attend. Others call it discrimination and an embarrassment to Kansas.

To attend Trinity Academy in Wichita, you must agree with and support the school's Christian beliefs and practices. In fact, all new families are required to sign a statement of understanding and agreement. It needs a signature from mom, dad, and the student.

Part of the contract says, "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."

"Just when I think nothing is going to surprise me, stories like come up and it's mind-boggling," said Tom Witt, Equality Kansas.

Witt says Trinity is holding students hostage by not allowing them to attend their school because someone in their family is gay. "I think the LGBT community is going to be shocked and appalled to see children being treated this way by people who profess faith in Jesus," he said.

We asked Trinity about its policy. They would not go on camera, but sent a statement instead. The school says it holds biblical views on human sexuality and gay marriage, and it wants families to understand that. It says it's up to the family to decide if they can support those views.

"There's no biblical argument that says you get to punish your children, or that you get to punish somebody else's children, for actions of a third party," said Witt. "This is ludicrous."

The statement goes on to say, "Trinity would not, and has not, denied admission to a student simply because they have a sibling who is gay. Neither would they necessarily deny admission to a student with same sex attraction.

The contract says students can be denied admission, but the response says Trinity has not and will not do that. We asked for further clarification, but the school did not get back to us.

Trinity says it does not condone sexual activity of any kind for its students, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

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