Last week, we posted the “Statement of Understanding” from Trinity Academy — a private Christian school in Wichita, Kansas — that all students and parents are required to sign. While most of what it said was to be expected from a conservative Christian school, one passage seemed to say students could be expelled for merely having a gay relative living at home with them.
What I didn’t say at the time was that the document was leaked to me by Morgan Faulkner, a former class president at the school. He’s pro-LGBT rights and extremely disturbed by how Trinity treated that community when he attended the school.
Now, in a guest post at The New Civil Rights Movement, Faulkner writes about why he leaked the document:
My colleague and I released this information because we firmly believe that subjecting minors to this kind of toxic environment is objectively wrong. We’ve seen the psychological and emotional consequences of fundamentalism up close — I’ve experienced them personally as a closeted bisexual up to this moment — and any good that might come from being brought up in this environment is vastly overshadowed by the way it robs an individual of their personality and self-worth.
Blind obedience and unconditional deference to authority are core components of Trinity’s internal culture, and the implementation of these values leaves students woefully unprepared for the culture shock they experience after graduating or leaving. Simply put, this is a school that enforces a culture of shame.
He adds that he began the hashtag #TrinityInsurgency to help students who may need a better support system than the kind provided by places like his former school.
Good for him, and I hope more students at schools like these are willing to go public with documents like these. If no one talks, anonymously or otherwise, nothing will change.