A non-denominational Nashville private school recently turned down prospective students because their parents are gay, drawing criticism from alumni and gay advocates while causing an uproar on social media.
Brian Copeland of Nashville and Davidson Academy had agreed on a time for him to visit and tour the Madison-area school this month for his children — a son who is entering pre-kindergarten and a daughter who is 8 months old. But a top school official, in a Jan. 14 letter, informed him that the school decided to cancel that visit after they learned the children are raised in a two-father family.
Though the couple never got to the point of applying for admissions, the school told Copeland that “another education provider would be a better fit for your children. Therefore, we cannot grant admission to your children.”
Copeland, a real estate agent who is married to Greg Bullard, pastor of Covenant of the Cross in Madison, posted that letter on Facebook. Though he redacted the name of the school and the name of the official who wrote it, a reference to the school’s handbook matches that of Davidson Academy, an interdenominational church on Old Hickory Boulevard that serves students ages pre-K-12.
Copeland wrote that he shared the letter to “let my friends know that discrimination affects people you know and love and still hurts no matter how many times you go through it.
“We chose this school because of its rigorous faith-based K-12 academics and extracurricular activities; and, a friend with a son there asked them if a family like ours would be allowed and was told yes. After a phone conversation, fully disclosing we are a two-dad family, an appointment was set for us. I receive this letter canceling our appointment without even getting a chance.”
Copeland later told The Tennessean that he and Bullard’s goal is “not to harm the school” but to show that “discrimination and inequality is alive and well.” He stressed that he and his husband are not victims and they are not trying to inhibit anyone’s religious beliefs.
“I want to make that very clear,” Copeland said. “We want our children to have a Christian education, and we’re finding that very, very hard.”
Davidson Academy Headmaster Bill Chaney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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