Lesbian Kicked Out Of University For Being Gay Now Owes Thousands To School

danielle powell kicked out of grace university

Danielle Powell (R) and Michelle Rogers, her wife.

The idea of being removed from any situation or location because of your sexuality is repugnant; to be taken out of a place you’ve applied to and are paying money for is absolutely absurd. However, that’s exactly what happened in 2012 to Danielle Powell, a lesbian kicked out of Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, simply for being gay — but that’s not even the worst part of this story.

In 2011, the religious university discovered Powell was dating a woman. As a result, she was brought before a judiciary board to determine whether or not she would be able to remain at the school. According to Powell, she was asked questions like, “Are you remorseful?” which was not dissimilar to how one might treat “a sexual predator.” Apart from just being an overall awful experience, this also had a dramatic personal impact on Powell, as it forced her to come out to her family, whom she was not yet ready to tell. It also meant she owed over $6,000 as payment for the semester, since a scholarship she had received was now revoked.

According to the Huffington Post, Michael James, Grace University’s executive vice president, he cannot discuss this case due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (though he nevertheless mentioned that their handbook disallows “sexually immoral behavior,” including homosexuality).

In 2012, Powell justifiably decided not to readmit to Grace, as she was still dating women and didn’t want to keep experiencing the “witch hunt” the university was putting her through as they attempted to find out her relationship conduct through others. Naturally, James (and presumably others at the University) found her sexuality needing of commentary:

James told Powell in a letter…that she was being “deceitful” and said it would be “unethical” for the university to readmit her since it “would be impossible for the faculty of Grace University to affirm your Christian character, a requirement for degree conferral.”

So, Powell resolved to change schools which meant she would need to transfer the three-and-a-half years of credits elsewhere. The catch? She has to pay $6,300 for the semester they kicked her out in order to receive her transcript. Yes, really.

Powell’s wife Michelle Rogers has started a Change.org petition calling for the university to forgive Powell’s debt and allow her to get the transcript. As of right this minute, the petition has 15,849 signatures. I know online petitions can be kind of (really) annoying sometimes, but hey — they take like 5 seconds and they can make a surprising difference in somebody’s life. Grace University’s disciplinary system is outdated and awful; Danielle Powell shouldn’t have to keep paying for her sexuality (literally and figuratively) after they’ve already decided to exclude her.

Photo: YouTube.

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    • Alicia Brooke

      It’s completely wrong and unethical but if you know that the very essence of who you are as a (super awesome) person is going to break the “morals code” of Crazy Religion U then why would you go there?!

      • JennyWren

        It says in the attached article that she only started dating her partner, her first experience of a same-sex relationship, when she was already admitted. Neither her nor her partner had previously identified as gay.
        I mean, I think the university is crazy-pants but they are a private institution so they get to follow whatever crazy-pants rules they want. I just think it’s pretty shitty of them to shame her and charge her money after kicking her out instead of letting her finish the semester and asking that she not return.

      • Alicia Brooke

        I didn’t even think of that. I feel like a jerk for saying it and she totally deserves her money back without question but I always think “Why are you there then?” when I read stories about people violating these archaic code. And unrelated but this school is a for-profit institution that has no right to make ethical or moral judgements when it’s making money off of the (apparently very pricey) education of people.

      • eltito

        you said it, “crazy rules”, crazy rules that must change with our times!

      • Obama2016

        I think she deserves to be kicked out. Lesbians disgust me.

    • eltito

      some schools are in for the money, this so called Christian school is morally and unethical wrong!!!

    • Tinkaboutit2

      Seems like a college-ready student should be capable of reading the handbook and knowing what the rules and regs are BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. The University makes no secrets about it values. Don’t complain abut it afterwards. Pull your big girl panties up, pay your bill and get on with your life.

    • Kelly Wirtz

      A petition? What an ineffective way to respond to this. The University is driven by money (not morals, obviously, or they would say: “your lifestyle is not for us, here’s your money back.”) The only thing that will spur them to action is a lawsuit, or the threat of a lawsuit.

      • Ellen W.

        I think it might be more effective to just raise the money. I know it’s more satisfying to try to shame them into doing the right thing, but I think that if they’re like Woe-to-you-hypocrits they’ll see this as some kind of persecution and dig in their heels.

    • RubeksCube

      I hate to say this, because it’s clearly a hot-button issue, but it’s standard procedure for any college/university to require all tuition be paid in full before releasing transcripts. She would have to pay the debt regardless of the reason for no longer attending, and regardless of the reason for needing the transcript.

    • Woe-to-you-hypocrits

      The double standard here ASTOUNDS me. It is OK and “current” for you to approve of same-sex couples/sex/marriage, but you don’t allow anyone their own standards. Oh, no. Everyone should think like you. In fact, lets force everyone to think like you. “There will be no bullying after we bully everyone into thinking our way.”
      Christianity has not changed nor have the Words of God; it is those who adapt and commend what Scripture condemns who advocate this lie.
      By her actions, which I presume she did of her own volition, she violated the school guidelines. So they kicked her out. If she had been caught plagiarizing a paper she would have faced the same consequences. There are a plethora of things that could get a student kicked out – because IT MAKES THE SCHOOL LOOK BAD.
      “Morally and unethically wrong”
      First, it would be ethically wrong – if, in fact, it was wrong. But who made you god over what is and isn’t moral and ethical? You, who would pound your views down another’s throat but don’t give a rat’s behind for their beliefs. Grow up and stop your hypocrisy. Either everyone is entitled to their own beliefs or no one is entitled to their own beliefs. I pity the day when everyone is not afforded their own views and beliefs because it will be the day when everyone is nothing more than mindless drones doing the will of the state. Yes, I consider trying to bully Christianity to accept homosexuality no less atrocious than what Hitler did to the Jews.

      • Ellen W.


      • NathanealGreene

        Good point. The key is that each private organization must be allowed to set its own criteria for admission or members. This private college even sounds as if it has religious affiliations. Certainly, under our Constitutional freedoms, the government cannot be telling a Church what it must believe and what its ethical and moral standards must be -except in very limited circumstances and this ain’t one of those..

    • Megan

      She chose to go to a Christian school. She obviously can read, having been admitted to college, so she was aware of their values, which excludes sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman- the way God intended it. If you don’t believe in that, God gives you the free will to choose what you will believe, but don’t expect the whole world to change what they believe to accommodate you.
      And yes, I am a higher education administrator and a college faculty member and you are required to pay any tuition/outstanding charges before receiving your transcript. It doesn’t matter what reason you left the school for (unless in some cases you have an approved medical withdrawal) you are responsible for the charges because you have registered for classes and taken up a spot that could have been filled by another student.
      Ultimately, she choose to withdraw during the middle of a semester according to the article. And don’t whine that she was so “bullied” that she had to. A straight student attending the same school who was having sex outside of marriage would have experienced the same reprimand.
      Pay your tuition, get your transcript and go to NYU or UCLA. They are liberal.

    • memphis30

      She got $42,000 worth of scholarships and 3.5 years toward her degree under false pretenses, and now objects to having to pay anything toward her tuition. Three and a half years of tuition for $6,300 is a deal.
      And her wife is launching a petition to get her transcripts released for free. It’s customary for a University to withhold transcripts for students in arrears.

    • Guest

      I’m glad. These gays need to be brought to justice.

    • NathanealGreene

      This is a private school, not a public institution. Private organizations can have their own standards and rules for admission and continued membership. For example, a church may discriminate and only hire a pastor of their own faith. Likewise, the Boy Scouts have set rules as to who may or may not be a scout or a scouting leader. They went to the U.S. Supreme Court and won a case ensuring this right as a private institution. These are Constitutional rights and deserve just as much protection as other Constituitonal concerns.