Metro Weekly

Oklahoma school expels girl after telling female friend she has a crush on her

Rejoice Christian School told Chloe Shelton she could "only marry a man" before expelling her

oklahoma, rejoice, girl, school, expel, christian
Photo: Nick Quan / Unsplash

A private Christian school in Oklahoma has expelled an eight-year-old girl after she told a female classmate that she had a crush on her.

Rejoice Christian School in Owasso allegedly told the girl that she could “only marry a man” before expelling her and her five-year-old brother.

According to the girl’s mother, Delanie Shelton, her daughter Chloe was called into the vice principal’s office after she admitted her crush to a female classmate in the school’s playground.

Shelton told FOX23 that the vice principal “sat [Chloe] down and told her that in the Bible it says you can only marry a man and you can only have children with a man.”

The school then contacted Shelton and advised her to come and collect Chloe. At the school, the vice principal reportedly asked Shelton how she felt about “girls liking girls.”

“I said, ‘if I’m being honest with you, I think it’s okay for girls to like girls,’ and she just looked shocked and appalled,” Shelton said.

Once they got home, Shelton said that Chloe was “crying and saying ‘Mommy, does God still love me?’”

The incident took place on Thursday, Jan. 21. The next day, Rejoice contacted Shelton and told her that neither Chloe nor her son would be welcome back at the school.

Rejoice cited its handbook as justification for the expulsion, but FOX23 noted that the handbook only prohibits “boyfriend/girlfriend relationships while at school,” and does not state that such relationships are cause for expulsion.

The school later issued a formal statement, with superintended Joel Pepin saying, “Due to privacy and other factors, it is the school’s policy to refrain from public comments regarding any particular student or family.”

Shelton said she has been raising her children to love whomever they choose and to not judge others.

“[School administrators] ripped my kids out of the only school they’ve ever really known,” Shelton said, “away from their teachers and friends they’ve had over the past four years over something my daughter probably doesn’t know or fully understand.”

After the local community rallied around her, Chloe told Fox 23 that she felt “so loved and supported.”

“Thank you so much to everyone who helped me feel better for being who I am,” she said.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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