A pregnant high school who attends a private Christian school in Maryland says it is unfair that the officials there barred her foot on her graduation ceremony next month.
Officials at the Heritage Academy in Hagerstown have said the student, Maddi Runkles, is not permitted during the ceremony, because they violated the school’s code of conduct by having sex before marriage, Fox 5 reported.
Runkles, 18, discovered she was pregnant in January. When they informed the school about her pregnancy, she reportedly was suspended for two days and stripped of all her leadership positions.
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She said that the school required the students and the parents sign a pledge at the beginning of the year with in the part “This application extends to my actions, such as the protection of my body to refrain from fornication and from the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs…”
“I have signed, that is a typical thing every school year,” Runkles said.
Runkles’ father, Scott, a former president of the school, the board of directors, said that he believed the promise could be interpreted in a way that would allow her to take part in the graduation.
“The difference is consistency because we have other students that are serious violations and they have walked in the past and they are allowed to walk this year,” Scott Runkles said.
When he is on the board, Runkles recused himself from the decisions that his daughter. But he eventually quit the board to protest against how she was treated.
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Heritage Academy Administrator David Hobbs label the matter as “an internal matter about which much prayer and discussion has taken place,” The New York Times reported.
“You can’t be pro-life, but then refuse to support the girl who loves her baby,” the teenager argued.
The baby’s father did not participate in the academy and the two are not planning to marry, Runkles said.
If the teen is not allowed to walk during the ceremony on June 2, then they plan to have a private ceremony and invite her classmates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.