Virginia Elementary School Tells 8-Year-Old She Isn’t Girly Enough

“Her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity.”

1. This is 8-year-old Sunnie Kahle.

2. WSET-TV reported that her school, Timberlake Christian School in Forest, Va., threatened to not invite her back in the fall if she didn’t dress more feminine.

3. The school’s K-8 principal sent Sunnie’s family a letter arguing that Sunnie isn’t feminine enough:

“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment.”

“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.”

4. Sunnie has short hair and prefers jeans and sneakers. Her grandparents say she’d much rather play outside than play dress-up.

5. Sunnie’s grandparents, Carroll and Doris Thompson, who have adopted and are raising Sunnie, took her out of this school immediately and enrolled her in public school.

6. They don’t care how she dresses.


“How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants 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?” Doris asked. “How do you do that? I can’t do that.”

7. Even though Sunnie is a good student, the school told WSET-TV that, beyond her short hair, unspecified “things” about Sunnie disturb the classroom environment.

The letter says students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl.

“I’m a girl.” Sunnie says. “I know I’m a girl.”

“How do you label a child, 8 years old?” her grandfather, Carroll, asked. “Or discriminate against an 8-year-old child?”

8. The school’s letter warns that administrators can refuse enrollment for “condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.”


The letter goes on to reference specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs.

9. According to her grandmother, Sunnie is having a difficult time adjusting to her new school.

“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,” Doris said.

A message was left with Timberlake Christian School seeking comment after normal business hours Tuesday.

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