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Christian School In Florida Sparks Outrage After Threatening To Make LGBTQ+ Students 'Leave Immediately'

Christian School In Florida Sparks Outrage After Threatening To Make LGBTQ+ Students 'Leave Immediately'
WFLA News Channel 8/YouTube

A religious school in Florida stated they will only refer to students by the gender assigned at birth and declared any LGBTQ+ student "will be asked to leave the school immediately."

According to a letter obtained by NBC News, the school administrator of Grace Christian School in Valrico, Florida, sent parents of the children matriculating at the school an email with the subject line:

"Important School Policy Point of Emphasis. ... Please Read."

In the correspondence sent to parents on June 6, Grace Christian School Administrator Barry McKeen said students will be referred to by the "gender on their birth certificates."

The news station noted while McKeen's email mentioned "biological gender," the website for the National Institute of Health defined "gender" as "socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors," whereas "sex" referred to "biological differences between females and males."

McKeen sent the following message before the start of the new school year.

"We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity."
"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."

McKeen went on to cite scripture, which he said condemned "elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary gender fluid acts of conduct."

"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)."

McKeen continued by citing the anti-LGBTQ+ school policy.

"Students who are found participating in these lifestyles will be asked to leave the school immediately."

The policy prompted at least one parent to transfer her 16-year-old daughter to a different Christian-based private school where she was assured by the school's owner:

"God loves everybody."

You can watch a news report here:

While the news station was unable to get a response from McKeen after reaching out to him, he responded to NBC's article with a video statement in which he confirmed school policy does not allow students to be homosexual or transgender.

McKeen also confirmed an email was sent to parents on June 6 reminding them of the existing policy shared by other similar religious schools.

He said:

"It is true that a student can not come to our school ... and be transgender or homosexual. This is rooted in scriptures."
"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 added:

"We are not a hateful group of people. We don't hate students who are of a particular persuasion."