Emily Parker said that three days after she and her wife officially adopted 5-year-old Zoey and two days before she started kindergarten, the director and the pastor of the academy called them in for a meeting.
“He started off saying, ‘This is a Christian school. We don’t just teach academics. We teach the word of the Bible.’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, yeah. We understand.’ He was like, ‘That being said, we only believe in two genders, and we only believe in marriage between a man and a woman. Since Zoey’s life at home doesn’t reflect that, we don’t think she’s going to be a good fit for this school,'” Parker told KLFY.
Parker said she was angry but not surprised because their daughter had attended the school last year.
“We were here. We’ve paid our dues. We’ve done our things. I am like, ‘I see where this is going. You don’t need to say anymore. We’re going to head out. I appreciate your honesty, and I’m glad you won’t be teaching my daughter,'” she added.
Parker, who is also Zoey’s aunt, said the girl’s father died in 2020. Parker adopted her niece after she and her wife cared for her for over a year. She says her faith initially waivered after the incident with the school, but the community became her pillar of faith.
“People came out to show us, love, to say, ‘Hey, this is not God’s love. This is not what love is about. This is not what church is about. Come to our church.’ We had so many invitations to so many churches to show us love. That is what this is about,” Parker said.
Parker and her wife are now sending Zoey to a new school that made the family feel welcomed and accepted, Parker said. Zoey started her first day Thursday.
The Parkers say they’re excited about this new beginning.
“It wasn’t about us. It wasn’t about our relationship. It wasn’t about our orientation. It was about her. It was about Zoey. It was always about Zoey,” Parker said.
FOX 8 sister station KLFY reached out to Bible Baptist Academy and the school’s pastor but did not immediately receive a response.
According to the school’s handbook, “BBA requires that parents maintain a home free from influences that are recognized as harmful and encourages that parents of students be members of a local Christian church as evidence that the parents are also actively working toward Christian training of the child. Not all students who apply will be admitted.”
Additionally, the school says on its website, “We believe that the Bible teaches that every life has value and that there is dignity in all of us because we have been created in the image of God. The Bible also teaches us to love everyone with the love of God despite their personal choices.”