Christian college expels lesbian, sends her bill
OMAHA, Neb. — In 2011, Danielle Powell was just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska when she fell in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
Powell said she was working at a foundation in Mississippi to finish her psychology degree when she was called back to Grace University in Omaha and confronted about the relationship. She was eventually expelled — then sent a bill for $6,000 to reimburse what the school said were federal loans and grants that needed to be repaid because she didn't finish the semester.
Powell argues that her tuition was covered by scholarships and that federal loans wouldn't need to be repaid in that amount.
“I shouldn't have this debt hanging over me from a school that clearly didn't want me,” the 24-year-old said.
Grace University's code of conduct for all students is strict: No kissing, no prolonged hugs and certainly no premarital sex. The school even monitors students' television habits, forbidding HBO, MTV, Comedy Central and several other channels “because of the values they promote.” The rules are laid out in a student handbook and signed by students every year.
The university insists that the $6,000 must be repaid to the federal government because Powell didn't finish her final semester. School officials declined to discuss specifics of Powell's case.
The Department of Education said in an email that the issue of whether Powell owes money is between her and the school — but “it's not at all because of federal rules.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City
- Fight against Islamic State at impasse, military commanders say
- West Virginia University expels 3 students for postgame misconduct
- Huge gold nugget goes on sale for $400K
- 3 killed in Md. mid-air collision
- Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
- Sen. Casey seeks to cut off benefits to ex-Nazis
- Driver accused of pretending to be Ohio cop
- Court: IRS not targeting conservative tax-exempt groups
- White House may enhance security
- Internet providers asked not to take ‘fast lanes’