BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maddie Runkles was barred from her graduation at a small Christian school because she’s pregnant, but she got to celebrate during a private ceremony.
Runkles is a straight-A student and is due to have a baby boy in the fall, but her pregnancy has drawn scorn from her high school, the Heritage Academy in Hagerstown.
The school refused to allow her to walk with classmates in the graduation ceremony.
“Even though it’s not the way I thought I would graduate high school, and not what my family anticipated, it was special that we were able to have something separate with all of our family and friends. So it was a very special day,” said Runkles.
Over the weekend, she received her diploma in a private ceremony at a local church.
She got to graduate among family and friends.
It was made even more special after Students For Life of America, an anti-abortion group, presented her with a $16,000 scholarship.
She also received 7,000 messages. Messages of support from people who heard her story.
“Our focus is on Maddie and this baby,” said Sharon Runkles, Maddie’s mother. “It has been all along, but now I feel like we can just get away from the drama of what was going to happen at graduation and now we can focus on Maddie and her baby.”
A drama first reported in The New York Times that played out in a small western Maryland town.
“Honestly, what I wanted from all this is that at the end of the day, God is still God and he’s got everything under control,” Maddie Runkles said.