The school board of directors told a student, Maddi Runkles, who is a high school senior at Heritage Academy that she can not walk the stage with the other students at her graduation because she is pregnant.
Runkles is 18 years old and has a 4.0 grade average, so it is not her age or conduct that have all these feathers ruffled. It is the fact that the school has a very strict code against premarital sex, saying that her walking the stage would be “misunderstood.” She is currently 7 months pregnant.
They went on to say that Maddi has breached the Bible standard, so they are using graduation to discipline her.
Her family is not in agreement with school officials when it comes to this unusual punishment.
The principal, Dave Hobbs wanted to make sure everyone knew that he is “glad that she has decided to keep the baby and not abort the baby,” but at the same time, he is punishing her for deciding to keep the baby.
It would have been all to easy to go somewhere and hide this from the world, but she decided to do the difficult and noble thing. She is bringing a child in the world, and despite all that, her grades are perfect and she is an active member of the community. Runkles should be praised, not punished.
But the “Students for Life of America” anti-abortion group said she already received a two-day suspension, and that kicking her out of graduation took things too far. “The school has shown students that it would be easier to choose abortion than to choose life,” said Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America. “Because she chose to carry her child and courageously made that decision, she’s been punished this entire semester for being pregnant, and that’s just wrong.” Maddi’s parents have planned an alternative graduation ceremony for their daughter next weekend. She is due to deliver her child in September, and is planning to start her college career by taking online classes through Liberty University.