Private Christian school Whitefield Academy demands faculty condemn gay students

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Whitefield Academy. // Via Google Streetview

Update: Whitefield Academy’s headmaster’s statement and recent letter to Whitefield parents have been added to the story.  We have since requested a copy of the document. Requests sent to Whitefield teachers for comment have still not been returned, nor have requests for further clarification from the school’s headmaster. 

Classical K-12 Christian school Whitefield Academy is asking its faculty to agree to expel any students who are out as gay.

The school’s administration introduced a letter for all faculty to sign, supporting the administration’s decision. The letter was introduced a week ago and any teachers or staff members who don’t sign it are expected not to return to Whitefield.

At least three teachers won’t be returning to Whitefield in the fall and have declined to sign the document. Requests for comment from two of these identified teachers have not been returned. This piece will be updated with comments if they come in. Dr. Quentin Johnston, the school’s headmaster, responded to a request for comment with the following statement:

Whitefield Academy has served families for over 25 years as Kansas City’s leading classical Christian school. Our mission is to equip students to be Christ-honoring critical thinkers, clear communicators, and compassionate leaders, through the pursuit of academic excellence, in the tradition of classical Christian education. We are a voluntary community committed to biblical principles.

We have not asked our teachers to sign a statement or letter such as you describe. As in past years, we ask teachers and parents to understand and consent to the standards outlined in our Statement of Faith and core documents, which have not been altered in several years.” 

Two days after the Pitch initially requested clarification from Johnston on what faculty had most recently been asked to agree to, the following letter was sent to Whitefield parents:

“Dear Whitefield Families,

This is an exciting time as we near the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. With graduation just around the corner, we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to celebrate all our students’ hard work and accomplishments in their intellectual and moral pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty. 

Whitefield Academy has served families for over 25 years as Kansas City’s leading classical Christian school. We are a diverse and voluntary community that welcomes students from Christian families of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and life experiences. Our goal is to maintain unity around our founding mission to equip students to be Christ-honoring critical thinkers, clear communicators, and compassionate leaders.

We firmly believe every person has been made in the image of God and should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. In some cases, there are those who do not understand the biblical principles associated with our core beliefs. Such is the case this week when a news story made claims about our school that were neither accurate nor true. 

The Board of Trustees and I want to make sure you, as parents, understand our policies and procedures. To be clear, we have not asked our teachers to sign a statement such as described in the news story. As in prior years, teachers have been asked to affirm their personal belief and agreement with our statement of faith and core documents. 

We are also in the process of receiving faculty contracts for the next academic calendar year. As is normal in personnel matters, there are some faculty members who will not be returning, as well as new faculty joining our community in the fall. 

If you have questions or concerns about our School or any rumors you may have heard, please reach out to the office to schedule a time with me for discussion and encourage others you may hear from to do the same.

We remain committed to the vision and mission of our school, trusting the Lord as we end another academic year. I especially pray for all of our students moving forward amidst the disruptive challenges in these unprecedented times. 

We ask that you join us in prayer for our students and community as we graduate generations of men and women committed to their Christian faith and determined to live out that faith in their personal, family, business, church, and civic lives.”

A Whitefield parent—who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid any negative consequences on her child—says students and parents are asked to attest to their faith when they enroll at Whitefield, but this is the most explicitly that the school has made its feelings about homosexuality known.

“It’s been unspoken I suppose up until now, and now they’re now they’re formalizing that in a way that makes me really uncomfortable,” she says. “We know the suicide rates for kids that are not in affirming families. And when I think about those same kids going to school and knowing that every adult in that school has signed a piece of paper saying they are not welcome there, it just hurts my heart to think about.”

Several Whitefield parents have reached out to dispute that teachers were asked to agree to this, but requests for further clarification to the Whitefield administration and teachers before and after publication had not been returned as of Monday afternoon.

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