TIMBERLAKE, VA (WSET/CNN) - A girl's family is claiming discrimination after the Christian school she formerly attended sent home a letter saying she looks too much like a boy.
Sunnie Kahle is 8 years old. She has short hair and a huge heart, and as far as her grandparents are concerned, she is a completely normal little girl.
"She cries every morning to get on the bus. She cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," Doris Thompson said.
Doris and Carroll Thompson are Sunnie's grandparents.
They adopted and raised the little girl and took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received the letter from the K-8 principal.
"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," the letter stated.
It goes on to say that students have been confused about whether Sunnie is a boy or a girl. It specifies that administrators can refuse enrollment for condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity. It even referenced specific Bible verses that affirm these beliefs.
"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," the letter goes on.
The Thompsons said they have no desire to re-enroll Sunnie in the school.
"How do you label a child, 8 years old, or discriminate against an 8-year-old child? It just don't happen," Carroll Thompson said.
An administrator from Timberlake Christian said the problem goes "far beyond her hair length." The administrator said the little girl is a good student, but that "things disturbed the classroom environment."
"How do you tell a child when she wants to wear pants and shirt and go out and play in the mud and so forth, how do you tell her, 'No you can't. You've got to wear a pink bow in your hair, and you've got to let your hair grow out long?'" Doris Thompson said. "How do you do that? I can't do that."