If she'd gone to school wearing spiked hells, make up and a mini-dress,vthe school would have approved
@1 ...approved of her rape by the boys who couldn't resist the little slut.
What the hell was she doing enrolled in a christian school for in the first place?
Dodged a bullet, just think of all the hate they could have brainwash ed her with. Maybe now her grandparents, who enrolled her in that miserable place, will have a think about how "Christian" the people in that school are. Gross!
Go Public Schools.
In Africa girls are genitally mutilated, in India women are stoned to death for the "crime" of being victims of rape, but I'm glad you think this privileged white Christian girl's trifles are The Worst Thing In The World.
Bbiblical Standards such as this?

"American Indian boarding schools were boarding schools established in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to educate Native American children and youths according to Euro-American standards. They were first established by Christian missionaries of various denominations, who often started schools on reservations and founded boarding schools to provide opportunities for children who did not have schools nearby,[1] especially in the lightly populated areas of the West. The government paid religious societies to provide education to Native American children on reservations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) founded additional boarding schools based on the assimilation model of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Children were usually immersed in European-American culture through appearance changes with haircuts, were forbidden to speak their native languages, and traditional names were replaced by new European-American names. The experience of the schools was often harsh, especially for the younger children who were separated from their families. In numerous ways, they were encouraged or forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures.[2] The number of Native American children in the boarding schools reached a peak in the 1970s, with an estimated enrollment of 60,000 in 1973. Investigations of the later twentieth century have revealed many documented cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse occurring at such schools.[3]"

and that's just the tip of the iceberg...
@5 OK, I'll bite - it's performance art, right?
What IS it about the Bible that makes people so fucking awful?
@7 - yup, has to be an art project.

Actually that would be a good piece for a museum. Have a huge "Never Read the Comments" sign on the left, and then have a video screen scrolling idiotic comments like the above on the right. Maybe taser the genitals of anyone reading the comments for longer than 10 seconds.

I think that, despite the Mona Lisa, The Scream and Starry Night, my art project would be The Best Thing In The World.
Sure its not because she's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan?
@7,9 - Ragu's parody of raku is only topped by I Am Outraged's long lost 3 word replies. Gosh I miss him/her.
At least now she will probably learn science.
Well, lemons into lemonade, at least she doesn't have to go to a batshit religious school anymore.
#8 For people who live the lives based on fear and ignorance, the bible is a weapon. You could say that the fundies have weaponized religion. Probably have been doing so since the first asshole looked into a fire and started hearing voices. It ain't about love, it is about power. Always has been, always will be.
So don't set your kids up for an issues-filled childhood by sending them to a religious school, dumbasses.
@13 That's true of course, in the long run she'll be better off not having to be in that kind of toxic environment. But it's kind of sad for now, having an eight-year-old being separated from her friends and school for reasons she can't really understand. I would also add that her going to a public school is probably not going to be a bed of roses either--she'll still likely face taunts from some children. But if teachers themselves try to discriminate against her, they will be violating her civil rights (I think the Christian school fundies are as well, but--you know how much sway they have with the law in this country).

Anyway, she's lucky to have grandparents who are uncompromisingly on her side.
it's more likely than not that this school would have eventually damaged this girl -- good thing she is out now.
It sounds to me like they don't have a formal dress code - none is mentioned anywhere in the article nor hinted at in the quotations from the principal's letter. I wonder how they aren't opening themselves up for a civil action? Probably some nonsense giving the principal the final word entirely on his/her own discretion, something buried in the enrollment forms.
@15 is right, it's a private school and their dress code is the prerogative to enforce.
It's like if you don't like Greek food don't eat a Greek restaurants, and if you do, don't complain at what's on the menu.
@ 14, before the fundies, the Pope did much the same thing. Actually, pretty much every religion works this way.
@ 19, see my comment above. As I say, it doesn't seem like they have much of a dress code, if the letter wasn't citing specific violations. My girls go to a school with a dress code, and it's pretty specific about what the boys can wear and what the girls can wear. The principal is only thumping his Bible. (Is s/he checking to make sure nobody is wearing polyester/cotton blends?)
@2 Yikes. Spot on, but yikes.
@21: Okay, and the school could whip up a policy at the drop of a hat for any threatened action and it would be held up. Good thing the girl is out of there. So much better in the long run.
Never ceases to amaze how terrified grown men can be of any female that does not follow their "rules."

I mean, grown men scared enough of a schoolgirl's physical autonomy that they would kick her out for shaving her head.

The headline should read: Christian School Does Girl a Favor.
It fucking blows that she had to learn the hard way how awful Christians can be. This is why young children should be sheltered from religion.
@ 23, after the fact? AKA "ex post facto"? I don't think so.
Hundreds of thousands of kids in this country - including many in public schools - are required to wear uniforms to school that are gender-specific.

Additionally, thousands of kids are expelled and suspended from schools for not adhering to rules that are just as arbitrary as a dress code.

I don't see what makes this a story compared to those other 1000's.
@28: maybe because this school does not have a dress code, just something in the head of the principal?
Just outrageous. It was Jesus who said "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:6

Minor point, FWIW: the woman at the well wasn't the one brought to Jesus under an accusation of adultery and ready for stoning. See John 4 (Samaritan woman at well who had had five husbands) and John 8 (Jewish woman hauled into the temple and accused of adultery and ready for stoning).
"The letter goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl"

No, they're not. They're being assholes, because A. their parents teach them that it's OK to hate and suppress anyone who's different from you and B. children are often terrible.

Or, a lot of them are cool with it, and the administrators are just using the pricks as an excuse for their pearl-clutching. Or in this case, maybe sack-cloth collar-clutching.
There's also a charter school in Colorado that kicked out a girl for not having properly feminine hair after she shaved her head in support of a friend undergoing cancer treatment. She's been allowed back, but it's only because of the bad press.…
Jesus was hardly gender normative with all his shoulder length hair and dresses.

Maybe because girls wearing "boys" clothes is basically the norm now, and no one who isn't an asshole says that that violates any standards of decency?

On my mother's first day of class in the U.S., she was sent home because she was dressed in pants, something that was completely normal back home in Denmark. That was 1948.
Good on the grandparents for putting the girl in a new school rather than forcing her to wear a dress.

Excellent post on the history of Christian schools in this country. I have family who were forced into those damn Christian schools where abuse of all kinds went on for a century. Christians are cruel and not much has changed in far too many of them. Every denomination (except maybe the Quakers) of Christians have the blood of children on their hands. This child is upset now but she is much better off out of the clutches of godless Christians. And they are godless because nothing like what they worship could be God.
What the crud isn't gender normative about sports, short hair, practical clothes and practical shoes? @34 is right. Regardless of what this school would do to a real transgender kid, this is probably a horse and not a zebra, which here means a girl who likes to wear jeans and sneakers.
@28 alas for you - they do have a dress code:…
@18 They won't be open for civil action because the school didn't expel (or "expell") her, Dan's troll-worthy headline aside. What they did was shitty, but both the article ("[The grandparents] took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received a letter...") and the original headline ("Little Girl Taken Out Of Christian School After Told She's Too Much Like A Boy") are clear that this is not an expulsion, but rather the grandparents having the correct response to this stupid situation the school put them in. No lawsuits can come unless the school wants to accuse Dan of libel.
I spent 9 years in Christian schools. The rules are as arbitrary as you will ever find.
@39 You know that The Stranger staff are simply above-the-law when it comes to journalistic ethics, right? I mean, who cares if the headline states something that the editor knew for a fact never occurred? All that matters is that something bad might have happened that would have impacted one of The Strangers increasingly-narrow demographics; or at least was illustrative of something that might could happen
@32: She was kicked out for shaving her head, not for being unfeminine. I suspect she got swept up idiotically in a "no skinheads" rule that really shouldn't have applied to her.
@28 The problem here is of course not the dress code which I think was not even mentioned in the letter. Like the administration says, it goes far beyond her haircut. It's probably the way she moves, talks and holds herself: their problem is that this girl is not 'girly' enough. Think about it, your average 'girly' girl could easily pull off these clothes and haircut and still appear 'normal' and the school likely wouldn't have a problem with her. But this girl is not 'girly', so in the school administration's view she should try harder to appear 'normal'. Which is what's completely outrageous about the whole story, since they have a problem not with a dress code violation but with her actually being the way she is. They fault her for not trying to blend in and not being ashamed of being slightly different.
@42- Bullshit. "The school’s website specifies that female students’ hair should be “neatly combed or styled. No shaved heads.”

Actually, no, it wasn't a Nazi skinhead thing. "Properly feminine" is my term, but I think that's an accurate rendering of what the story reports: "The school’s website specifies that female students’ hair should be 'neatly combed or styled. No shaved heads.'" I think that description is vague enough that they could also bar a girl with dreadlocks or any "ethnic" style.
I'm starting to feel that the real question here is: "How constitutional are dress codes in the first place"? These people at the school are still fundie bigoted asshats of course, digging into an eight-year-old's "alternative gender identity" etc., but I still wonder how much legal power they indeed may have to exercise this point of view.

Regardless, the grandparents were right to pull her out of that school.
This whole thing about dress codes makes me ask: Most FUNDY "Christian" schools have uniforms don't they? Was she allowed to wear pants? or was it really that she was assertive and an uppity female? Sometimes, I think we haven't progressed past the turn of the LAST Century, before women's suffrage. (Remember? Women got the right to vote. Before that, they couldn't even do that (even if they were straight and married.)
Support your darn public schools
@ 38, I don't see anything in that policy that supports the allegations at hand. "Tennis shoes in good condition" are allowed. Girls may wear slacks instead of jumpers or skirts. There's a prohibition of "extreme" hair styles - perhaps they'll relying upon that. But otherwise there's nothing applicable to the situation. Probably why the letter and the news story make no mention of the dress code.

But, I suppose kudos are in order for at least finding that there is a dress code.
Even back in the '80's girls were allowed to wear pants and shorts (within uniform colors/guidelines) at my Catholic school. This hardly seems about dress codes...
@44,45: Website is broken, so I can't verify now, but that looks like something that might be in both male and female dress codes. Did it say exactly that in the girls dress code? If so, did you look to see whether or not it said something similar under boys dress code?
@44, 45: Web site finally loaded. Here's the boys dress code. Are they still idiots and assholes? Yes. Are they the same kind of idiots and assholes as the Jesus people in Dan's story. No.

Gentlemen’s Hair: Hair should be neatly combed and styled. Hair should not be arranged or colored so to draw undue attention to the student. Hair must be natural looking and conservative in its color. Radical changes in hair color during the school year are unacceptable. The hair may be as short as needed, but no shaved heads. No Mohawk, rat’s tails, or braids are allowed. No hairnets or bandannas. Gentlemen should be clean-shaven. Students will be allowed to have modest sideburns not to extend below the bottom of the earlobe.

@46: It's a private school. Only a governmental entity can violate someone's constitutional rights (unless you're trying to keep slaves--13th Amendment is the only one that applies to government and private citizens alike).
Because one can always trust the Church to appropriate 'correct' gender scripts or else....

Because a woman's place is always behind that of a man….…
In light of the dress code [aureola @54], reasonably read, a male student could wear his hair long, if it is clean, undyed, groomed. Y'know, like Jesus. [We can assume that the Son of God didn't need a lot of product for luster and volume.]

However, a young lady wearing her hair short is clearly an affront to several of the central messages of The Bibble and Christianism.

In high school I rocked the long hair, but sometimes with a shawl...sometimes with a tweed jacket. They would've had to take me half of the time I guess. The Bibble is very confusing.
@55: I don't get it.
8 years old? What are these people thinking? There must be more to this story than what we have read really, an 8 yr. old girl can be a "tomboy" and not cause any real gender confusion unless you're a religious republican neanderthal that thinks all girls that age should be girlie girls. What a bunch of bullshit! And who is making the distinction about this person? Is it a man or a woman?
#59: The woman in the picture from the school's alumni class of 1984 has enormously bulked up arms. The joke is that there's a thread of similarity between their Alumni and the small child that was expelled from school.

@56 But discrimination by private entities is still not allowed?
What do you expect of a group of child abusers who demand kids "drink the blood" and "eat the flesh" of a dead cult leader to avoid being tortured forever by their "loving" racist mass-murdering myth? (sigh) "Religion" is just a kind of mental illness that survives by inflicting brain damage on innocent children.

I feel sorry for the kids that have to stay.
@58: Reasonably read, the girls section would allow short hair:

Ladies’ Hair: Should be neatly combed or styled. No shaved heads. Hair accessories must be red, white, navy, black or brown. Neat barrettes, headbands and “scrunchies” are permissible. Hair should not be arranged or colored so as to draw undue attention to the student. Hair must be natural looking and conservative in its color. Radical changes in hair color during the school year are unacceptable.
@64- "Hair should not be arranged or colored so as to draw undue attention to the student."

Which would ban short hair if every other girl has long hair.
@65: Same phrase is in the boys section. You can interpret them however you want, but there is no language specifically addressing not being feminine. Reasonable reading of that would be that it bans pink hair, giant spiked hair, etc.
In other haircut regulation news, Kim Jong-un.
Aurora @66, ah, I think where we have gone wrong is with the wording: reasonably read.

@67, I know, right.
The school can be contacted at
The commenters seem quite obsessed with the dress code idea, despite the fact that the article doesn't mention a dress code at any point. The school cites Biblical problems with homosexuality, and is pretty clearly saying that they think the child is gay or trans*. What's really creepy is that they cite sexual immorality, but they're the ones assigning sexual meaning to an eight year old's interests and appearance.
What no one seems to have mentioned in all of this is that when people say 'feminine', they don't mean 'female' - what they really mean is 'heteronormatively pretty'. If this girl was a petite little waif of a 'tomboy' who had a pixie haircut and wore jeans and t-shirts, then she'd meet the heteronormative criteria of femininity and 'appropriate gender presentation'. Furthermore, our unconscious recognition of another person's sex is very much determined by observing facial proportions, and in the case of this girl, her excess fat changes the proportions of her facial features and contributes to her androgynous appearance. So basically the people who are picking on her are reading her as not acceptably presenting as female because they see her as too fat and not pretty enough.

'Biblically based' culture is creepily patriarchal, and since men generally prefer long hair on females, long hair is decreed as being an element of 'biblical womanhood'.

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