MATTHEWS, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Matthews school is under fire, accused of discriminating against some students.
Now, a new petition against Covenant Day School has more than 1,800 signatures. The petition on change.org wants Covenant Day School to remove its discriminatory policies against LGBT students.
“I’ve read through it,” said Covenant Day Graduate Nathan Makla. “I related to it and I connected with a lot of the posts.”
More than 1,800 signatures are now backing the petition to create change at Covenant Day School.
“I saw it on Instagram,” Makla said. “And I was shocked to see an LGBT Covenant Day Group– I didn’t think that was possible.”
Makla graduated from the school in 2006.
“I know what those kids are going through,” he said. “And I’m not surprised it’s still happening, because a lot of the same faculty and teachers are there.”
Covenant Day is a private Christian school, and a ministry of Christ Covenant Church.
The petition claims there’s a new “statement of human sexuality” that is “blatant discrimination” against LGBT+ students, which allows the school to essentially “out” students to their families and communities.
“I think the primary feeling I felt was just grief for the students,” said Covenant Day School Graduate Laura B.
“It’s really tragic to imagine that the situation is still as unsafe as it was 15 years ago. It was definitely a place that it would not have been safe to come out as a ‘queer’ person, for sure,” she added.
Students who graduated from the school say the new policies listed on the petition aren’t surprising.
“Not at all,” said Laura. “They’re not new policies. Maybe newly codified, but that was the understanding I always had at Covenant Day.”
The petition also says the policy allows the school to reject admission of LGBT students– as well as suspend and expel them. “It’s wild to see that they’re still making the same mistakes and still putting students in harm’s way in the same way,” said Laura. “And it’s a tragedy. Forcing shame is not the right way to do it,” said Makla. “It leaves lasting hurt and lasting pain.”
The more than 1,800 people who signed the petition are hoping by joining the fight, these policies will be removed.
“I want them to know I am hurting for and grieving with them,” said Laura. “They deserve better and also to communicate to the educators and decision-makers at Covenant Day School, that I think they are failing one of the most basic vocational mandates in education– which is to keep their students safe.”
We reached out to Covenant Day School for comment, and received this statement:
As a ministry of Christ Covenant Church, Covenant Day School strives to demonstrate care, consideration, and respect for everyone in our community. In keeping with the convictions of our church and our church’s denomination, Covenant Day School believes that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, and that the gift of sexual intimacy is reserved for the covenant of marriage. This commitment is an important part of following Christ and being true to the Bible and to our church’s historic creeds and confessions. The mission of Covenant Day School is to assist the Christian family by providing an education marked by a biblical worldview and academic excellence. We hope and pray we can continue to carry out this mission in a way that resembles Jesus, whose life and ministry was marked by grace and truth.
After receiving this statement, FOX 46 specifically responded, asking the school if the allegations in the petition are true. The school referred us back to the statement, saying staff wouldn’t answer any further questions.
Covenant Day School is a private Christian School, so technically they are allowed to create policies like this one. Clearly, though, students disagree and want change.