... but the school can't talk about it because it has an obligation to protect the child's privacy. Meanwhile, the girl's grandparents have gone to the press, presenting the story in a way that makes it viral: The school seems backward and mean, and the grandparents just want to let Sunnie be Sunnie.
I've watched the video and wonder if the problem is more centered on a dress code that applies to everyone. Are girls required to wear skirts? If girls are allowed to wear pants, are both girls and boys forbidden to wear the kind of oversized shorts and T-shirts that we see Sunnie wearing in the video?
The one-sidedness of the reporting really bothers me. Note that the girl was not kicked out of the school, but only advised to adapt to the school in some ways. It's a private school, so she's free to go somewhere else. It's not terrible for there to be a private school that maintains gender distinctions in dress and some kinds of behavior. I'm thinking about teaching some traditional etiquette — like boys opening doors for girls and boys asking girls to dance — and having girls' sports different from boys' sports.
I take it the letter was written in a diplomatic style, stressing the religious beliefs that make this school different from other schools and worth choosing. It's interesting that the girl's I've-gotta-be-me claim militates against the school's determination to do things its way and to offer a distinctive option to all the other children whose parents and guardians may specifically want a refuge from gender neutrality, a place where boys are boys and girls are girls.
The girl's grandparents have reacted to the letter by deciding she belongs somewhere else, and there is another place for her. But they've also chosen to open this little girl up to the hungry hungry media, and she — and probably they — have no idea where that's going to go and how that is going to feel. It is no longer possible for little Sunnie to just be herself. Now, she's Sunnie the media icon, Sunnie the boyish girl who proves fundies are meanies.
And all the school can say is: We respect the privacy of the child. At the very least, they are right about that.