A Maryland high school senior named Maddi Runkles has been banned from walking at her high school graduation because she is pregnant.
The 18-year-old student at Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, who has now earned the support of anti-abortion groups, apparently broke the school’s rules by having sex. The school initially told Runkles and her father, who is a board member at the school, that she would be suspended, removed from student council, and forced to finish out the school year at home. The family appealed and then were told that Runkles would not be allowed to walk with her classmates and receive her diploma.
In a letter published on the school’s website, the principal David R. Hobbs clarifies why Runkles is not allowed to walk:
Maddi is being disciplined, not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral. The Student Pledge which every student from 5th grade through 12th grade signs states that this application of Philippians 4:8 “extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs”. Heritage is also pleased that she has chosen to not abort her son. However, her immorality is the original choice she made that began this situation.
“It’s because I’m pregnant and you can see the results of my mistake,” Runkles told the Washington Post. “The school is worried about its reputation, but I think they’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to set an example for the pro-life community and Christian schools about how to treat guys and girls like me.”