Christian school defunded after coming out swinging for LGBTQ+ students
An LGBTQ+ inclusive, Christian school in Missouri will permanently close in May this year after its funding was axed by churches over its support for the queer community.
Urban Christian Academy in Kansas City – a tuition free private Christian school – catered to kindergarten through to eighth graders.
But the school lost the majority of its funding after the school’s co-founder, Kalie Callaway-George, said the establishment was LGBTQ-inclusive and embraced “inclusive ideology”, and has been forced to close.
Churches that previously supported the school’s funding retracted it “citing a disagreement of values based on the inclusion of the LGBTQ community,” Callaway-George told the The Kansas City Star.
According to the newspaper, the academy raised almost $334,000 in December 2021 compared to $14,800 at the end of this year.
‘Serious concerns’ about safety
The star reported that the school became open about its support for the queer community in the winter of 2021 to 2022. During this time the school updated its mission statement and website to reflect its pro-LGBTQ+ stance.
“As you can imagine, it’s been an extremely difficult process for our staff and our families,” Urban Christian Academy tells PinkNews.
“Because of the rise in violence against LGBTQ people, and the general media cycle around schools and LGBTQ kids, we have serious concerns about the safety of our kids and teachers.
“Our focus will be on protecting our families and ensuring the kids get the same high-quality education that they have in years past.”
After voicing support for the LGBTQ+ community Callaway-George told The Kansas City Star that by the end of last year the school has lost 80 per cent of its much-needed funding.
Many of the school’s donors were Christians, and a total of eight churches that had previously provided funding withdrew support.
‘There is so much grief around losing the community’
“We find ourselves in a season where we are running on very few resources, and each time attention is brought to the issue, we are bombarded by hate, which further distracts from our ability to care for the scholars we have in our care,” Callaway-George said.
Callaway-George said the school has reached out to churches in the area for support, but has had no response.
In December last year, parents were informed that the school would close permanently, with staff helping families find an alternative provision for their children.
On 24 May the school will close its doors for good.
“We are meeting with each family individually and have received an enormous amount of tenderness and support. UCA is a really sacred place and there is so much grief around losing the community that has made it so, so special,” Callaway-George said.
In 2022, Grace Christian School, in Valrico, Florida, asked all gay, transgender and non-binary students to “leave immediately” in a message to parents.
That same year, Canada’s Saskatoon Christian Centre Academy was accused of multiple incidents of abuse, including performing an exorcism on a student to cast out “gay demons”.
And in 2021, Covenant Christian School in Sydney fired a teacher for coming out as gay under Australian law.
PinkNews has contacted Urban Christian Academy for comment.
How did this story make you feel?
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.