Christian school defends decision to expel gay student

BY admin

November 13 2003 1:00 AM ET

A private Christian school in Florida said it expelled a student who admitted he was gay because he violated school policy when he talked to other students about his sexual orientation. Jupiter Christian School officials said they also had asked student Jeffrey Woodard to leave in August because of his bad grades and because his tuition hadn't been paid. Woodard, 18, sued the school last month for breach of contract, saying it expelled him because he acknowledged he is gay to a teacher after the teacher
asked him about rumors circulating at the school.

Woodard "was telling other students on campus that he was homosexual, which is a lifestyle we believe is not in accord with the biblical values we teach our children," school president Rich Grimm said in a statement on the school's Web site on Tuesday. Grimm said that school officials met with Woodard and his mother, Carol Gload, but that they refused to work with the school to resolve the issue. Woodard's attorney, Trent Steele, said the school is trying to backpedal by citing other issues. "The only matter discussed at the meeting before Woodard was expelled was Jeffrey's sexual orientation," Steele said. "Any attempts by them to attack Jeffrey for these other side issues they've created after the fact is really unfortunate."

Grimm would not comment beyond his statement, in which he said the school thinks homosexuality is "a form of sexual immorality.... We believe homosexuality is a sin that violates God's natural plan for marriage, a man and a woman joining together and becoming as one. And through our Christian School Philosophy we ask all parents to cooperate with us and to teach their children...the biblical view of dating, marriage, and the family." However, Grimm added, the school is not "antigay.... If we're anti-anything, we are anti-sin. And that is because we are pro-Christ."

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