Skip to main content

Home News News World

Christian school quotes the bible to shut down homophobic parents

By Josh Lee

Religious schools often hit headlines for not doing enough for their LGBT pupils, but one school in Australia is using their beliefs to stand up to homophobic parents.

Kambala, an elite all-girls school in Sydney Australia, describes itself as having a “Christian Foundation” on its website. However some parents acted in a less than Christian way when they found out that some of the school’s teachers are LGBT, with two parents complaining that hiring LGBT staff went against the “Christian values”.

But School Council chief Sally Herman decided to give parents a little lesson in the Christian value of love, penning a letter (later reposted in the Daily Mail Australia) which reads:

“There is little to be gained by me choosing words that cushion the message, so I will be straightforward. In recent days, two families have stridently expressed their displeasure at Kambala for, in their opinion, not living up to our Christian values by hiring and retaining teachers who are gay.

“At the core of their displeasure is a concern that their daughters may be exposed to messages or values that they do not personally agree with. Kambala does not discriminate, positively or negatively, when hiring staff. All staff, regardless of their role, are chosen on their merit, empathy and their commitment to supporting the Christian ethos of the school.

“We are a school community whose composition reflects the diversity of the broader community that we serve. Families and girls from many faiths, ethnicities, sexual orientations and political convictions proudly call Kambala, “my school”. We exist together as a community that wants to be defined more by how we care for each other than how we might discriminate.”

She then went on to quote 1 Corinthians, chapter 13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, But the greatest of these is love.

“At Kambala, love isn’t an optional extra. We practice love even when it is hard to do. We take the command of Christ seriously when He said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.”

The school’s head teacher, Debra Kelliher, praised the letter, saying, “It’s about reminding people of our common humanity and that we are very much a contemporary, inclusive school and I hope the culture of our school reflects that.

A parent of a child who attends the school said, “I think the school’s response was fantastic and it’s made me proud to be part of that community and the girls have really rallied behind the fact that the school embraces inclusion and not discrimination.”