Toddler Denied from Enrolling in Montessori School Because He Has Two Moms
byKaitlin StanfordMar 31, 2014
Dawn and Tracy Keller are used to people judging their lifestyle. After all, they've been dealing with it long enough—the lesbian couple lives in Texas, where their union isn't even considered legal. But when it comes to their two young boys, the Kellers just want their happy-go-lucky kids to be treated like everyone else.
Unfortunately, a recent tour of the privately owned New Beginnings Montessori School proved that sometimes, that's harder to come by than it should be.
Dawn set out to enroll the couple's 3-year-old, Landry, in the school last week, when she started asking a teacher her usual preschool tour questions. It wasn't long before she got to the one that mattered most. "I said, 'Do you have any religious affiliations?'" Dawn later told WFAA. "The teacher said, 'No, we have all kinds of people here.' And I said, 'Well, he has two moms. Is that going to be an issue?' And she said, 'No, that's not going to be a problem.'"
Seeing that Landry loved the school, and feeling confident that it was a really good fit for her "sweet" little 3-year-old, Dawn went home happy. Until the phone rang.
On the other end of the line was the school's director, Shamain Webster, and she was singing a much different tune than the teacher Dawn had previously spoken with.
"She told me, 'We are not going to be able to enroll Landry in our school because it's against my religion, and we don't live that way,'" Dawn later told WFAA, still somewhat overcome with emotion. "We know there are some schools we can't go to. And you know what? We just go someplace else, that's fine. But the call ... was pretty devastating."
Not long after the Kellers' story hit the local news circuit, reporters started reaching out to the school—and even Webster, herself, who confirmed that she had turned away Landry because it was against her personal religion. But she also backpedaled a little, claiming that the owner of the school does not share her beliefs and would like the Kellers to submit their application after all. Get this: The school's owner? He just so happens to be Shamain Webster's own father.
Needless to say, the Kellers aren't really interested in taking their son back to New Beginnings, and rebuffed the school's too-little, too-late response.
"We just want someplace that'll welcome us just like everybody else," Dawn said.