Tony Jeffrey (Photo: Providence Christian School of Texas) and Devin Bryant
The principal of a Christian school in Dallas, Tex., allegedly told a mother that he expelled her gay son because it was “what Jesus would want me to do.”
Devin Bryant, 17, had attended Covenant Christian Academy in Dallas since pre-kindergarten, but was told by the school’s new headmaster, Tony Jeffrey, that he wouldn’t be allowed to attend for senior year after coming out as gay, the Dallas Voice reports.
The decision came despite Bryant having been open about his sexuality since October last year, a decision that led to no repercussions, and with teachers complementing his mother, Consolata Bryant, on “bringing up such a nice guy,” she told Dallas Voice.
Bryant said that during the call, after Jeffrey confirmed that her son would not be returning for senior year, she asked, “Are you a Christian? Jesus would not do what you are doing.”
He allegedly responded, “I’m doing what Jesus would want me to do,” before thanking Bryant for her almost twenty-year affiliation with the school and offering parent counseling.
The school’s student code of conduct outlaws homosexuality, alongside drugs and sex before marriage, but Bryant said that her son had previously come out and remained in the school without issue.
Devin Bryant said that other students responded positively, telling him they were “there for me” and “proud of me for making the decision to come out.”
He felt that the school was “ignoring it,” but said, “people in the administration knew,” and claimed that teachers had spoken to him and said they supported him, despite what they may have personally felt about his sexuality.
Controversy seemingly erupted after Bryant shared his design for decorating his senior parking spot, which included the text: “Super Hot, Fun, Attractive, Fast-driving, Insane, Very Smart, Outgoing, Party Freak, Young, Gay (as in happy don’t worry lol), Pretty, Reckless, Humble, Pyromaniac, Fun, Gay (as in homosexual this time, sorry) Person Parking Only.”
School administrators shut down the plan, telling Consolata Bryant that it would be rejected and the word “gay” should not be mentioned. Two days later, he was expelled from the school.
In a letter circulated to parents two weeks after Bryan was expelled, Jeffrey addressed the expulsion, noting that parents are “required each year to read and sign our Doctrinal Statement acknowledging that they agree with the School on historic, orthodox, doctrinal beliefs” and to “live in accordance with the community guidelines…based on our deeply held religious beliefs.”
Jeffrey added: “The expression of human sexuality is appropriate only within the boundaries of a marital relationship between one man and one woman.”
He called Bryant an “exceptional student,” adding that he was a “talented artist and gifted athlete” who “made significant contributions to our program” while attending the school.
Jeffrey said that expelling Bryant was “one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make in my thirty-five-year career as a private Christian school administrator.”
Bryant said he was “scared” for any other LGBTQ students who come out at Covenant, and told Dallas Voice he believes he was expelled to set an example for the other students.
His sister, Benta, who also attended the school, said that Covenant “want kids to hide the fact they’re gay,” and that other alumni have contacted her to say they were expelled after coming out.
Bryant, a straight-A student who is taking five AP classes with hopes of applying to UCLA, is now completing his senior year at a local public school.
He told Dallas Voice that the principal of his new school contacted him to personally welcome him to the school after reading his story, and assured his safety at the high school.
As for Covenant, Bryant said, “I don’t have any hate or hold a grudge. I know I’ll end up fine.”
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