In late August, one high school student was reportedly sent home from Livingston Academy in Tennessee after she refused to change out of her black t-shirt that stated, “homosexuality is a sin” in bold white letters.
Rev. Rich Penkoski, who leads Warriors For Christ, told The Christian Post that his daughter, Brielle Penkoski, had her first amendment rights violated in standing up for biblical truth while the public school is pro-LGBT.
“She wanted to do this on her own. She wanted to go there to … express her values like all the other kids do,” Penkoski argued. “They’ve got kids walking around with the pride symbol on their sneakers and pride clothing and nobody bats an eye.”
“She was basically censored,” he added. “It’s not fair … that she’s told that she can’t wear that shirt and other people can wear the stuff that they wear.”
He explained that Livingston Academy’s principal, Richard Melton stated that the shirt was not allowed in the school as it features “sexual connotation.”
But Penhoski noted that the principal had no problem with an LGBT pride sticker that was posted by one of Brielle’s teachers in his classroom.
“Diverse, Inclusive, Accepting, Welcoming Safe Space For Everyone,” the sticker’s message reads.
Pride messages aside, the preacher added that the school’s teachers are likewise “pushing Joe Biden.”
“But if a Christian comes up there and repeats what the Bible says, they are seen as intolerant, they are seen as hateful. Simply saying 'homosexuality is a sin' is not hate speech. That’s what the Bible says. And we need to start preaching truthfully,” Penhoski asserted.
The message on the shirt references 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 which says, "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
Penhoski believes that the incident that happened to his daughter is reflective of how schools are across the U.S.
Pastor Dale Walker, president of the Tennessee Pastors Network, echoed Penkoski’s sentiments as he argued that what happened to Brielle was “an indication of what is happening in our school systems” as they are “ trying to drive the indoctrination down the throats of the students.”
“They want the students to cower down and not be able to wear a shirt that has a Bible verse on it. They can fly your rainbow flags but then you have a Christian student who wants to express her deeply held beliefs and she is unable to,” he continued.
Walker contended that elected officials must “return the power of the schools back to the people,” otherwise, “the indoctrination will continue and it will get markedly worse.”
In order to see change in the American education system, Walker proposed that it should start by allowing the people of Tennessee to “elect our school superintendent” and “elect a school director.”
“We need a conservative director of education in our state. I don’t think we have a conservative director of education,” he said.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, an LGBTQ+ group called for the burning down of a church after its pastor told them that homosexuality is a sin.
Photo courtesy: Drahomir Posteby Mach/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.