And all summer, when her family drove past the campus, the 4-year-old
was told that she would be starting pre-kindergarten there in August.
But on Monday, Olivia was not among the youngsters
starting school at the campus. Administrators at the private Christian
school denied her admission because they do not agree with her parents’
in 2006, filled out an application in June. But last week, the women
were told that Olivia could not enroll because their relationship is
against the traditional beliefs of the
“The canons of our church take a traditional stand on Christian marriage,”
relationship. We cannot do anything that would give legitimacy to
The Harrisons have found a new, nonreligious school
for their daughter. But they said they are disappointed that their
relationship became a factor in her admission.
“What we do when we come home and shut the door should not affect our daughter getting an education,”
enrollment forms for Olivia, she wrote in her name as the girl’s
mother. She crossed out father, wrote mother and listed Tracy’s name
there, she said.
School officials assumed that Tracy was a man, Foster said. But after the women attended a parents night
“The only responsible thing was to say this is not a
good fit,” Foster said. “We were trying to protect Olivia, protect the
other children from being exposed to the culture wars and stand up for
our theological position.”
school officials that the couple was divorcing and that both partners
would participate in the daughter’s schooling. But she did not indicate
that it was a same-sex relationship before the pair showed up at
“I’ve never been explicit. It’s never been a
problem. It’s never been an issue. If it comes up in conversation, I’ll
answer, but I don’t feel it is my job to tell people about my personal
life,” she said. “Had I known, in hindsight, I would never have
attempted to enroll her in a school where they did not believe in our
beliefs and our lifestyle.”
Although the sign outside
On Saturday, the
issued a news release to clarify its relationship with the school,
noting that Episcopal schools have nondiscriminatory admission
policies. The diocese has contacted the family members to offer
pastoral support and invited them to a
“I have been in touch with
the fact that the word Episcopal was associated with this ordeal in any
way,” Sherrod said.
“I felt like we needed to reach out to them,”
Sherrod said. “That’s hard to tell a 4-year-old child that you can’t go
to school there because you have two mommies. You don’t do this to a
child. I just am at a loss to justify that decision or to even
(c) 2010, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.