News (USA)

Tennessee school turns away prospective students because parents are gay

Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard with their daughter Esther and son Micah.
Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard with their daughter Esther and son Micah. Family Photo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A private, non-denominational Christian-based school in Nashville has turned away prospective students because their parents, one of whom is a local pastor, are gay.

Brian Copeland, a Nashville real estate, and his husband, Greg Bullard, pastor of Covenant of the Cross in Madison, Tenn., had planned to tour Davidson Academy in Nashville this month for their children — a son who is entering pre-kindergarten and a daughter who is 8 months old.

But a top school official, in a Jan. 14 letter, informed Copeland that the school decided to cancel that visit after they learned the children are being raised by two fathers, reports The Tennesseean.

Though the couple never got to the point of applying for admissions, the school told Copeland that “another education provider would be a better fit for your children. Therefore, we cannot grant admission to your children.”

While the school is not affiliated with any specific church or denomination, the Davidson Academy letter says that the school was founded by Christians and operated in the Christian tradition based on “clear tenets of faith and practice.”

The letter referenced to the school’s admissions policy outlined in its handbook, which requires all students, parents, guardians, teachers and administrators and staff to “manifest lifestyle conduct and actions which project an image consistent with the expressed purposes, missions and beliefs of the school.”

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One example of this, the policy says, is homosexuality.

The couple notes that they chose Davidson Academy “because of its rigorous faith-based K-12 academics and extracurricular activities.”

They say that after a phone conversation, fully disclosing they are a two-dad family, an appointment was set for them to tour the school. “I receive this letter canceling our appointment without even getting a chance,” says Copeland.

Copeland says it is not their goal “to harm the school” but that they posted the letter online to show that “discrimination and inequality is alive and well.”

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