In a letter to her parents, the school cites the reason as “because she was immoral”: faces pressure from anti-abortion groups
A Christian school has come under fire for refusing to allow a pregnant student to participate in their graduation ceremony, not on the grounds of her pregnancy, but because she is “immoral.” Administrator of Heritage Academy, David R. Hobbs, without any hesitation, said: “Maddi is being disciplined, not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral.”
The girl, Maddi Runkles, will receive her diploma, but will not be allowed to participate in the graduation. The school accused her of having broken the pledge that students have to take when they join the institution, which makes a promise to keep away from premarital sex. In the pledge, the students promise to abstain from substance and alcohol abuse, premarital sex, and everything else that the Christian world considers “impure.”
This is not how a pro-life Christian school should be acting. https://t.co/aRsyo4On10
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) May 24, 2017
The school, however, praised Maddi for not choosing the path of abortion. Christians are vehemently opposed to abortion, believing that it is murder and denial of the child’s right to live. However, they maintain that immorality was her first choice, and so she could not be permitted to be a part of the school and had to be punished. The school has issued a letter to her parents stating the reason as to why she has been removed from the school, adding that the “best way to love her right now is to hold her accountable for her morality that began this situation.”
A lot of groups, including anti-abortion groups are trying to pressure the school into reconsidering their decision. The outcry from anti-abortionists is perfectly understandable – opposed to abortions, they would definitely want to support and encourage someone who chose not to abort her baby.
After she discovered her pregnancy in January, the school told her that she should complete her education at home. However, following the appeals that they received, the school decided that although she would be allowed to complete her diploma with her classmates, she would be banned from walking with other students to receive her diploma on graduation day. The girl herself feels that she has been treated unfairly, pointing out that there have been other students who have done more serious crimes but have received only temporary suspensions from the school. As such, she believes the school is showing a very discouraging example to young people like her.
Although she knows she did the right thing by choosing to keep the baby, sometimes she has bouts of doubts over her decision. “I chose life and sometimes it feels like it wasn’t worth it, but then it’s been kind of a blessing because I have a big platform to help other people,” the 18-year-old says.