(Photo: Screen Grab via CBS 12)
The grandparents of an 8-year-old girl from Timberlake, Va., said they were forced to pull her from the Timberlake Christian School because she was allegedly confusing students about her gender identity.
Doris and Carroll Thompson told CBS 12 that their granddaughter, Sunnie Kahle, who is now in public school, has been crying to return to her old school, but her boyish behavior is not in line with the "biblical standards" of Timberlake Christian School, according to a letter from the school's K-8 principal.
"She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," said Doris Thompson on how the change has affected Sunnie.
The 8-year-old likes sports, sneakers and wears her hair short like a boy but her grandparents insist that this is completely normal.
The school, however, did not agree and the principal sent them a letter informing them that if Sunnie did not start acting like a girl, she would be refused entry to the school the following year.
"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," Doris read, in part, from the letter. It then goes on to explain that students have been confused about Sunnie's sex and highlighted that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.
"We believe that unless Sunnie, as well as her family, clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education," said the letter.
Carroll Thompson, however, doesn't feel the school handled the matter appropriately.
"How do you label a child, 8 years old, or discriminate against an 8 year old child? It just don't happen," he said.
"Sunnie says, 'I'm a girl, I know I'm a girl' and she (the prinicpal) said then, you know, you're acting like and looking and wanting to look and act like a boy," said Doris.
"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants and a shirt, and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, no you can't, you've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long, how do you do that? I can't do that," said Doris.