Spring should be an exciting time for high school seniors everywhere, prepping for graduation and whatever choices they’ve made about what awaits them next fall. But for one young Maryland woman, graduation season has been rife with controversy ever since the 18-year-old was banned from graduation for being pregnant back in January. Maddi Runkles has a 4.0 GPA, was president of the student council, and was reading over her college acceptance letter when she found out she was pregnant this winter.
The Heritage Academy, a Christian school that boasts “patriotism, knowledge, and Bible truth” on its seal, allegedly suspended Runkles for two days after learning she was pregnant. Officials also allegedly removed her from student council and told her that, although she would receive a diploma, she wouldn’t be able to celebrate her many accomplishments by walking at the graduation ceremony with her peers next week. Romper’s request for comment from Heritage Academy was not immediately returned.
In a statement on the school’s homepage, principal David Hobbs wrote that he wants to be very clear about the fact that Runkles is not being “punished” for being pregnant, but for being “immoral.” He added that the decision to bar her from graduation came about after “countless hours” of prayer and discussion.
Students at the academy reportedly take an oath to not engage in sexual activity until marriage, as well as to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. For this reason, Runkles won’t be able to walk in her graduation ceremony. Hobbs adds that while he and other administrators are pleased that…
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