A pregnant teen has been banned from attending her graduation at a small Christian school in Maryland because she broke school rules regarding abstinence and was "immoral."
Maddi Runkles, 18, of the Heritage Academy in Hagerstown was initially told she would have to finish out the year at home, but was then told she would be allowed to stay in school except for attending the graduation June 2. The straight-A student was stripped of her leadership positions, including the student council presidency, after she notified the school of her pregnancy in January, Fox News reported.
“Maddi is being disciplined not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral,” David R. Hobbes said in a statement to parents of the school’s students, USA Today reported. Hobbes noted that all students sign a purity pledge each year agreeing to remain abstinent until marriage.
Pro-life groups such as Students for Life criticized the school’s decision, with president Kristan Hawkins saying the school was “making a public example of one student” and that the decision “communitcated to the school community that pregnancy (not simply premarital sex) is a shame and should not be observed within our school community,” according to USA Today.
Runkles and her family agreed she was being unfairly treated. Her father resigned from the school board over the decision, and her younger brother will attend a different school next year, Fox reported.
“The difference is consistency because we have had other students that have had serious infractions and they have walked in the past and are allowed to walk this year,” her father said, USA Today reported.
Twitter users supported Runkles and pointed out that if she had gotten a secret abortion, she would not have been punished for her actions.
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