• Tue, Mar 25 - 12:49 pm ET

8-Year-Old Tomboy Kicked Out Of School Because The Bible Says ‘Girls Shall Not Wear Short Hair’

tomboy kicked out of school

Timberlake Christian School took it upon themselves to tell an eight-year-old that she was not welcome back at school next year because of her tomboy style. How Christ-like! The School sent a letter to Sunnie Kahle‘s family saying that since she did not follow the school’s “biblical standards,” she would not be allowed to return. Also she’s eight-years-old. What did you wear when you were eight?

The letter contained some real demonstrations of the Christian spirit, such as, mentioning that “students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or girl and specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.” She’s eight. She wears pants and has short hair. Way to be open, loving, and Christian.

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.

I’m glad that God took some time off from making the universe to specify that women can’t have short hair and wear pants, and that to do so would be absolute confirmation of an “alternative gender identity.” I didn’t realize that I was trans, and so I suppose I’ll start living my life as a man now.

Jesus, of course, was a great champion of isolating, alienating, and bullying young children based on wildly important things such as clothing. In fact, I believe it’s written in the Bible that “By bullying defenseless children, one honors God.” It’s right after the verses and verses preaching love, kindness, forgiveness, and that judgement is not for humans.

If you believe in God, I can promise you one thing. God does not care if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, an alternative to the gender binary, or any other deviation from cisgendered, heterosexual, and dressed according to Mad Men‘s first season gender roles. Exactly zero percent of those things make you a better or worse person, and your higher power does not care. Look at the world. There’s bigger fish to fry.

Kahle is devastated about not being able to return to her school, and was actually pulled out mid-year as soon as her grandparents, Doris and Carroll Thompson (who have adopted her) received the letter. They say they have no interest in sending her back there, and I couldn’t agree with them more. But it’s still heartbreaking for Kahle, who I’ll remind you is eight-years-old and got caught up in some ignorant adults’ hang ups.

This looks pretty bad for Christians, who in my experience are by and large wonderful people who have an awful PR team. It seems like the most batshit are the loudest, and that the most publicized interpretation of Christianity bears little resemblance to the actual religion. What’s the point of all of those WWJD paraphernalia anyways, if you’re going to just shove it in a drawer when it comes time to actually be a Christ-like?

Photo: Maisna/Shutterstock

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    Ugh, people are horrible! This poor girl

  • Lindsey Conklin

    Ew, I hate this so much. Are you kidding me!??!?! SO HYPOCRITICAL

  • CMJ

    I read a MRA article on Thought Catalog (don’t even get me started on the cesspool that cite had become) that women who cut their hair short were essentially emotionally damaged beings who only did it to assert some sort of control over their lives…(it was something along those lines).

    Seriously, fuck all these people and their obsessions with short hair and it’s detriment to femininity.

    • http://creativefluff.com/ Fred McCoy II

      Remember – the manliest thing a guy can do today is huddle in a corner of the internet and talk about how to run women’s lives. Or so it seems.

    • CMJ

      And ask girls in a bar why they cut their hair.

    • JLH1986

      I’m emotionally damaged? Shit. Can they tell me why and what is damaged?

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Sounds like something straight from Return of Kings or some similar shitshow. Yes, my hair length is a manifestation of psycholgical trauma, not from an interaction with a scissors….

    • CMJ

      BINGO! They are letting dudes from Return of Kings write there.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Have you ever seen pictures of the return of kings dudes? Cos lemme tell you, underwear will not be dropping left right and centre for them like they seem to think it will. I mean they’re not unfortunate looking but sadly for them they don’t have the personality to make up for it.

    • pixie

      People thought I was a lesbian when I had short hair, even though it was a well known fact that I had a boyfriend…

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I still get asked!
      I have a love of anything chequered, and one of my favourite tops is a black and red check shirt with fishnet sleeves.
      I wear this, spike my hair on weekends and wear biker boots.
      STRAIGHT AWAY I get lads (ALWAYS MEN) nudging me asking “HUR HUR HUR, Wanna get your girlfriend and we can have fun, HUR HUR HUR”

    • pixie

      Ugh. Gross.
      That sounds like an awesome outfit! :)

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Aw thanks! =)

    • silver orland

      If you want guys to stop judging you so awfully- just act and dress feminemly. Is common sense fun!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Act and dress feminine?
      So I suppose I only count as a woman if I wear either a Disney style ballgown or dress like a slut and have my tits hanging out?
      NO thanks.

      I’d rather be me.

    • silver orland

      Whoa whoa whoa! Who said ANYTHING about being a slut and letting her tits hang out? First of aall I said girly- not slutty. I meant a simple skirt, girly shirt and a more feminime and styled hair do. Second, your “ballgown style- though ok in a sense- is overboard. third, its not all bad. some of my female friends prefer dressing feeminime because they feel much more confident, capable, and comfortable in those clothes. also they love the openess of a skirt and shorts.

    • whiteroses

      I cut my hair because I didn’t have time to fool with it and take care of my son. I’m growing it out now because I like it long, not because some idiot told me I had to.

      My husband doesn’t care either way. We’re both Christian. Funny, that.

    • meteor_echo

      I want to send them a video of myself shaving my head and then flipping them off, then walking into the sunset with an explosion behind my back. Fuck those assnuggets and their dated ideas.

    • CMJ

      http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e359/oOAntiisocialOo/Funny%20GIFs/lightitup.gif

      (sorry I could only support half of your comment in gif form)

    • dudeinthecity

      Ahhh, look at that sexy long hair….

  • shorty_RN

    Yea, pretty sure God doesn’t give two craps about a persons hair length…

    • silver orland

      its not about the hair- or the pants! It’s about what this biased article neglected to gather anger- compassion. This girl is confused and the living administrators want to help her find herself and raise her with morals.

  • Grammar Police

    Verses no versus.

  • Mystik Spiral

    She’ll be MUCH better off without that school. Thankfully she’s only 8 so she has plenty of time to undo the fuckery they imposed on her.

    • silver orland

      how will she be better off? Being morally bankrupt in a school that didn’t care about her? Living as a confused little girl thinking shes a boy? Or going to hell (if she believes in that, given she attended a christian school)? I read a complete article- but this biased one leaves out much info. She actually prefers dressing and acting like a guy. That is why her classmates didn’t identify her as a girl. We should be praising the school for caring about her and wanting to help this confused little girl find herself and be a confident lady later in life.

  • Kelly

    She’s so much better off not going to that school anyways. I’m glad her grandparents pulled her out.

  • Mandie

    “Wonderful people who have an awful PR team” is one of the best assessments I’ve ever heard.

  • ascholarsparrot

    I grew up in the church, and I have *never* heard anyone use the Bible as a basis for actions like this. And believe me, I’ve known some pretty fanatical folks. Thank you, TCS, for making the rest of us look bad.

  • thisshortenough

    She’s way better off out of that school. Also if they really want to follow a godly approach to hair styles then it should be mandated that the boys can’t grow their hair out since the Bible says it’s a sin to cut your hair.

  • kay

    My pastor posted this on facebook today with a “wtf is wrong this is the opposite of what Jesus wants ” statement.

    Well, she didn’t say WTF but it was the general idea she was conveying.

  • Michelle Pittman

    “This looks pretty bad for Christians, who in my experience are by and large wonderful people who have an awful PR team.” this right here! i’m a Christian and i find myself appalled by some of the actions of “church going folks” — i love my church, i love God, but i also love people — which is what we are supposed to do — it is in fact – the most important commandment of them all after “love God”…

  • brebay

    If God only loves women with long hair, why does he keep giving chicks cancer?

  • morgan

    This girl was not kicked out of school, her grandparents removed her. That’s just ONE fact that the media has wrong. There is much more to this story, but due to confidentiality laws, the school cannot tell their side of the story. They have put out an official response, which can be found on their website. You can also read the letter that was sent to the family, which does not mention hair at all.

    • Guets

      They removed her after they were told she couldn’t come back, idiot. Were we not reading the same article? I’m sure what the school “can’t say” is that this kid is obviously gay and GOD FORBID so they need her out of there. No good reason for this kid to get booted from school. NONE.

  • gumbo chaat

    I am so appalled that your institution, Timberlake Christian School, spoken on behalf by the school administrator Becky Bowman discriminated against Sunnie Kahle, an 8 year old girl for her short hair cut. You all are liable for the negative ramifications stemming from this despicable and discriminatory act that this young girl will have to deal with as she grows up.

    This is 2014 Timberlake Christian School! How dare your administration judge this child as “confusing the other students about her gender identity” or even to suggest that the child was “sexually immoral”. You should be ashamed of yourselves! May god awaken your minds because surely you’re on the devil’s side now.

    This human shell is simply that “a shell”, and what is housed within, what is unseen is what matters most: the mind and spirit. Do you not comprehend this universal concept from your holy book? Can you not see the beauty of that God has given her? She is in human form, she made it that far to enter this realm in human form just as every other human. She and every human is deserving of respect and equality.

    With God’s Time and Grace May Sunnie Heal and Find True Spiritual Growth Now That She is Not Limited to the Unfathomable Dregs of your Institution.

    • silver orland

      How is this appalling? This is a great school. When was the last time your school actually cared about wether or not you developed well? The school was just trying to make sure Little sunnie grew up well and confident instead of a confused self esteem lacking girl. I read the real article as opposed to this biased commentary, she preffered acting and dressing like a boy and was confused about herself. Also, whether or not this is 2014 has nothing to do with whether or not people still have morals or practice religion. Next time, please get your facts from an unbiased, acuurate source.

  • Sara

    This strikes me as really odd, particularly the short hair thing. My mother and her three sisters grew up in the 1950s and 60s on a farm in the rural midwest, and experienced a very strict Christian upbringing. All three of them had very short hair their entire childhoods (“boyish” haircuts) – I asked my mom once why this was and she said long hair wasn’t safe on the farm (it can cause accidents by getting stuck in equipment, etc.) and their mom felt it was the most practical approach. My grandmother was one of the most observant Christians I have ever known, and she kept all her daughters’ hair very short without a second thought! I can also guarantee that she had her daughters wearing pants while they did chores!

    I would absolutely love to hear the conversation my grandmother would have with these school administrators if she was still around.

    • MegzWray

      I grew up on a farm in the 80′s in the midwest and I know my hair was short when I was 8. I loved to play outside and just couldn’t deal with my long hair anymore. Now, I’m an sales executive for a large corporation. And boy do I strut my short hair and jeans on the weekend! No wonder God hates me.

  • Maayan

    She’s EIGHT.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    Well then I’d be kicked out too, seeing as when I was a kid, I always had the mini bowl cut. My hair came just below my ears and stayed styled like that until I was 11.

    Even now I have my hair cut very short, like a boys. Why?
    Because I run my own business, I go swimming three times a week and I have 5 stepkids.
    I simply do not have the time to spend an extra fifteen minutes in the morning styling my hair.

    Ridiculous!

    Also- how lovely, isn’t it wonderful how once again, people are misinterpreting the Bible for their own gain?

  • Ted Reisner

    Sounds like a “religion”(?) that would check to see if younger females trimmed or shaved down there. That is not a religion but rather a cult

  • FemelleChevalier

    I went to a Catholic school and the administration didn’t give a damn about girl haircuts.

    Some “religious” people are way loco.

  • dudeinthecity

    Ugh, short hair on girls is akin to guys with long hair. Its all personal preference. The school is Christian, and last time I checked they have the right to run their school however they please. However, I do hope there was more to this than simple appearance. Did they have a dress code based on sex? I certainly hope the parents don’t send her to public school but instead find a good private school that doesn’t run it like the old testament. Seriously though girls, unless you have the perfect facial structure for short hair, don’t cut it, we love long hair. If you cant be bothered to be women because its inconvenient don’t be surprised when they cant be bothered with you. Hell id like to never shave again, but I also have standards that interfere with that notion.

    • themadhatter

      Why shouldn’t the girl go to public school? Are you trying to say that girls should wear their hair long unless they look perfect with short hair? If so, why? And why should women care if you like long hair? Also, how does cutting hair translate to not bothering to be women? What does the second part of that sentence even mean? This comment left me wondering how women cutting their hair is in any way like men never shaving.

  • scallywag

    Are school administrators concerned that an 8-year-old may be growing up gay, trans, or otherwise queerified, and that her rejection of allegedly “Biblical” gender expectations is going to spread through her classmates like a big flamboyant virus?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2014/03/sunnie-kahle-religious-school-course-shes-lesbian-transgender/