A family is fuming after their daughter was expelled from school over an ‘innocent’ photo of a birthday cake.

High school student, Kayla Kenney, 15, was allegedly kicked out from a Christian private academy as a result of a photo on social media of Ms Kenney dressed in a rainbow jumper and blowing out a candle on a rainbow birthday cake.

Ms Kenney’s parents, Kimberly Alford and Mike Kenney, are now suing the school, accusing them for expelling their daughter over her perceived sexuality and defaming her by doing so, as reported in Fox News.

teen expelled from school over rainbow birthday cake
Photo: Facebook/ Kimberly Alford



They claim that the school, Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, has invaded Ms Kenney’s privacy and inflicted emotional distress on the family.

“Essentially, the school expelled Ms Kenney because they believed that Ms Kenney was gay. As such, in Whitefield’s view, it would be difficult to ‘achieve the goal of (Ms Kenney) becoming Christ-like’,” the suit states.

“In so doing, Whitefield invaded Ms Kenney’s privacy, defamed Ms Kenney, breached its contract with Ms Kenney’s parents Kimberly Alford and Mike Kenney, and inflicted serious emotional distress on Ms Kenney.”

Not Gay!

Ms Kenney’s parents are adamant that their daughter is not gay, and the cake had nothing to do with sexual orientation.

“The receipt for the cake purchased, for her birthday, validates that it was requested to be a floral assortment of different colours. Nothing specific was requested and no statement was made to imply anything other than colourful,” Ms Alford said in a letter previously shared with Fox News, appealing the school’s decision.

Not The Only Reason?

In an email from head of the school Bruce Jacobson, he refers to the picture as demonstrating “a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs”.

However, the school has defended their decision of expulsion, insisting that the student had committed violations of the student code of conduct “numerous times over the past two years” and denied that she was expelled “solely for a social media post”.

“In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled,” the statement to Fox News read.

“Whitefield Academy is a Christian-based school with a 43-year history of educating students in a learning environment informed by our shared Christian values. All parents who enrol their children in our private school know upfront that we ask the students to adhere to a lifestyle informed by our Christian beliefs.”

It is unclear exactly what the violations were. However, in a previous interview with NBC News, Ms Kenney’s mum said the previous incidents were for “behavioural issues,” including skipping school and vaping.

But she is adamant that the expulsion was due to the school’s belief that she was gay. She said that her daughter was given a book titled, Gay Girl, Good God, by a guidance counsellor after the photo was shared on social media.

Before filing the suit, Ms Alford tried to appeal the school’s decision, but claimed the school denied the appeal.

Wow, what a mess! Who is in the right here? Tell us your views in the comments below.

  • Wow just the amount of intrusion into private lives and choices


  • Whoa. Thats horrible. I would move my kids schools !


  • What a ridiculous things for the school to do. I think she is better at a different school that isn’t so over the top


  • I would love to know what she did to actually get expelled if they claim this was an ongoing issue I don’t think the parents would take it that far knowing they are in the wrong. I think the school will have their work cut out for them!


  • WOW!! I would definitely be happy to leave that school. All sorts of wrong in their treatment of this girl based on something as innocent as a birthday photo. They have behaved apallingly to one of their students and should be challenged.


  • Yes I would found another school too !
    I hope the parents are successfully able to sue the school.


  • I would happily be finding another school!
    A school with a very different code!


  • Absolutely ridiculous. They should probably focus more on what it going on at the school and not peoples private lives.


  • Sounds a little over the top. It seems there may be underlying reasons however the school needs to be transparent. I rather liked the cake,


  • Very hard to believe that this could happen

    • It is indeed, in these times I would hope it would be very different.


  • When I saw the picture that didn’t even cross my mind! but in all honesty, I think the school was possibly looking for an excuse to get rid of her anyways and this was that last push. Thats what I understood atleast.


  • I’m sure the previous issues would already have been dealt with by the school at the time at which they had happened. There is nothing wrong with the appearance of the cake. The icing on the outside of it could easily be flowers. None of the pupils appear to be in uniform. One of the pupils sitting facing the opposite way may have a striped or patterned top on so they can’t use that as an excuse. What are the 2 brown items on her desk? I’d like MOM to find out the rest of the story and print it


  • I find the school’s decision really absurd!


  • I really believe you need to get down to the real reason for being expelled. If it was for other issues it needs to be made clear to the parents when those issues happened and maybe a warning or two should have been given in those cases. I do not believe a rainbow cake should be reason for dismissal.


  • Such a rid assumption but there is obviously a lot more to the story.


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