Rare is the letter explaining why a student was expelled from school that is so complimentary to the student that he could use it as a recommendation on his college applications.
Headmaster Tony Jeffrey sent a letter to current parents and to alumni that explains, “Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) administration does not normally comment on disciplinary matters involving students or employees, a practice we recently followed regarding a senior whom I expelled two weeks ago.”
Devin Bryant was the 17-year-old senior who was featured in an Aug. 21 Dallas Voice story, “Jesus said to expel the gay kid.”
Jeffrey explains in his letter that faculty, students and parents are “required each year to read and sign our Doctrinal Statement acknowledging that they agree with the School on historic, orthodox, doctrinal beliefs” and to “live in accordance with the community guidelines laid out in the School’s enrollment contract, signed annually, which outlines practices and behaviors consistent with the CCA mission, based on our deeply held religious beliefs.”
He does make assumptions about Devin that are untrue, however, when he writes that policy includes “the expression of human sexuality is appropriate only within the boundaries of a marital relationship between one man and one woman.”
Devin came out last October. He announced he was gay. He never said anything about sex. Since he is not 18, I thought it was completely inappropriate to ask and completely inappropriate to assume. In our phone chat, Devin said nothing about even dating anyone. Not true of his headmaster who is assuming all sorts of inappropriate things.
Jeffrey wrote, “Expelling Devin Bryant was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make in my thirty-five-year career as a private Christian school administrator.”
I absolutely believe that and am relieved to hear the headmaster say that. Here are a few excepts that make this a good college application recommendation letter:
He called Devin “a popular, well-behaved student, talented artist and gifted athlete who has made significant contributions to our program during his tenure here,” and said he was an “exceptional student.”
Exceptional doesn’t begin to explain it. And “talented” and “gifted” are more than hollow compliments. Devin’s brought awards to the school in both sports and art. In his new school, Devin’s taking five advanced placement college level classes as well as making up a couple of courses lacking in the CCA curriculum needed to qualify for a Texas public high school diploma.
The story has a happy ending for Devin. When the principal of his new school saw the story in Dallas Voice, he called Devin and his family to welcome them to his new school and assure him he’d be safe. He understands how lucky he is to have Devin in his school.
— David Taffet