In recent weeks, Whitefield Academy—a Christian school in Louisville, Kentucky—has come under fire in the mainstream media following its expulsion of Kayla Kenney. The school expelled Kenney after her mother posted pictures of her 15th birthday party on social media; in the pictures, Kenney was wearing a sweater with a rainbow insignia and was celebrating her birthday with a rainbow-themed cake. Kayla’s mother, Kimberly Alford, denied that her daughter identified as gay and asserted that wearing rainbow colors does not necessarily signify homosexuality. Alford accused Whitefield Academy of labeling Kayla and added that both she and her daughter were “devastated” by the school’s action.  

At first blush, it might appear that the school overreacted. What if Kayla did not intend to express a pro-LGBT message? What if she was unaware of the meaning of the rainbow insignia? 

There is much more to the story, however.

According to Family Research Council, a now-deleted Facebook post from Kayla’s father, Mark Kenney, said, “‘Do I have to spell it out for you stick in the muds? Years ago, the gay community adopted the rainbow flag as their own. This school realized that…My daughter got expelled from her church for being gay! END OF SENTENCE!’”

Rod Dreher at The American Conservative adds that Kayla “has been presenting herself as gay on her Instagram account.” She has reportedly posted images of herself dressed as a male and taking another girl to a dance, has made reference to having come out of the closet, and has expressed a desire to get a girlfriend.

Whitefield Academy’s public statement sheds more light on the situation: “‘Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post. In fact, she has unfortunately violated our student code of conduct numerous times over the past two years. In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled.’”

It sounds like Whitefield Academy didn’t overreact after all.