LYNCHBURG, Va. -- An 8-year-old Virginia girl has left her private, Christian school after administrators complained that her appearance was not sufficiently feminine, CBS affiliate WDBJ reported Tuesday.
Sunnie Kahle has short hair and while she likes teddy bears and bracelets, she also enjoys collecting coins, hunting knives and autographed baseballs.
"It's fun," she explained, when asked about her hobbies.
"Sunnie realizes she's a female, but she wants to do boy things," Doris Thompson, Sunnie's great-grandmother and legal guardian, told WDBJ. "She wants to play rough and tough."
Thompson has raised Sunnie since the girl was an infant. When she turned 5, Sunnie asked for a short haircut, her great-grandmother said.
"She had hair down to her waist and she wanted to give it to a child with cancer," said Thompson. "After we cut her hair she started wanting to wear jeans and a T-shirt. She didn't want to wear her frilly dresses anymore."
Sunnie said her classmates would occasionally ask whether she was a boy or a girl, but she said the question did not hurt her feelings.
The issue caught the attention of administrators at Timberlake Christian School, where Sunnie was a student.
Elementary principal Becky Bowman sent home a letter last month, reminding Thompson of the school's religious affiliation and its policy of refusing students who contradict a "biblical lifestyle."
"We believe that unless Sunnie and her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education," Bowman wrote in the letter, which was given to WDBJ7 by Thompson.