BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A teen near Hagerstown is claiming her Christian school is acting hypocritically.
As WJZ’s Mike Schuh reports, the school espouses a pro-life message, but it’s banned the 4.0 student from participating in her June 2 graduation because she’s pregnant.
Maddi Runkles’s story was first reported in the New York Times on Saturday.
Fearing a backlash, and for other reasons, early on in her pregnancy she considered an abortion, the Times reports.
“I just couldn’t because I didn’t think it was fair that I should take someone else’s life just because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to mine… that’s just not fair to me,” she told WUSA-9 in D.C.
The first time she saw an ultrasound picture of her son, “I cried because it was the first time actually seeing his face and it made it really real,” she says.
She’s disappointed in her school, Heritage Academy, “because I’d worked so hard for that…and I made one mistake and all my hard work was being taken away from me.”
Before the bad news about graduation day, she was suspended and removed from the student council, too.
She feels she’s being punished for choosing life.
“All I did that was wrong was just had sex before marriage, which they don’t agree with,” she says.
Though not participating in the ceremony, Maddi will be issued a diploma.
Maddi’s advice for other schools in similar situations: “you should let the girl walk. It’s not fair to take all of her hard work away.”
And her advice for other young women facing teen motherhood: “It really is scary but, I mean, it really is worth it. Because you know at the end of the day you made the right decision.”
Maddi’s father quit the school’s Board of Directors over their treatment of his daughter.
Heritage Academy released a full statement on its website Tuesday, signed by school administrator David Hobbs, saying that “Maddi is being disciplined, not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral.”
The statement goes on to describe a statement that “every student from 5th grade to 12th grade signs” saying that they will abstain from “sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.”
“The best way to love [Maddi Runkles] right now is to hold her accountable for her immorality that began this situation,” the statement also reads.
To read it, CLICK HERE.