Christian school rejects calls to let pregnant senior attend graduation

Olive Rios
May 25, 2017

A Maryland high school senior was suspended for two days and banned from walking in her graduation ceremony because she is pregnant.

The Heritage Academy in Hagerstown said Maddi Runkles violated the school's code of conduct by having premarital sex.

"This has been a breach of a standard of abstinence", Hobbs said.

It's a radical move for the media that positively spin abortion, but that isn't stopping CBS: the network just covered the story of a pregnant teenager who refused abortion for her baby boy - no matter the cost.

A student in the USA was banned from participating in her high school graduation because she is pregnant.

Hawkins said she and the Runkles family tried unsuccessfully to negotiate privately with the school to resolve the issue and only went public when the board refused to let her walk with her classmates. "It just seems unfair".

In an interview with Breitbart News, Runkles said that while other students at Heritage Academy have broken some of the other rules of the pledge, "They've never suffered a punishment as severe as mine".

She is one of 15 seniors in her class.

"I would love to attend because my best friends will be there and I want to share that with them", she said.

Maddi felt wrongly represented, despite her honesty, and abandoned by the principles the school faculty had professed. Though, he removed himself from participation in any board decisions involving Maddi, and later left the board due to the way he felt his daughter was being treated.

Anti-abortion organization Students for Life says Runkles shouldn't be punished for her pregnancy, but should be praised for choosing to keep the baby. She expressed her plans to attend community college in the fall and study business.

But Runkles's father believes the pledge can be interpreted differently that would allow her to walk on graduation.

David Hobbs, principal at Heritage Academy, said it's not because she chose life.

Responding to Hobbs' statement Tuesday, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, insisted that the school by its action, was sending the message that pregnancy is a shame.

She's disappointed in her school, Heritage Academy, "because I'd worked so hard for that...and I made one mistake and all my hard work was being taken away from me".

"I mean, all I did that was wrong was just have sex before marriage, which they don't agree with", said Runkles, who said carrying the child was "the right decision". "Maddie said that she's planning to name him Grayson as a nod to God's grace and forgiveness", she added.

Still, Runkles isn't holding her breath waiting for the school to reconsider.

Disciplining Maddi is not the issue ...

They argue that by singling out a pregnant student, the school is making it more likely that young women will choose abortion rather than suffer embarrassment and punishment.

At the end of her report, Crawford revealed that Runkles is expecting a baby boy in September.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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