This is a big year for viral stories of girls not being allowed by their high schools to walk at graduation.
First, we had the honors student whose off-the-shoulder top got her in enough trouble that she might not get to attend graduation and may lose out on her future schooling opportunities. Now, we have a girl with a 4.0 who can’t walk graduation at Maryland’s Heritage Academy because of her pregnancy.
Wait. No. According to the school, it’s not because of her pregnancy. It’s because of her lack of morality because she had sex before she was married. Totally different.
“It’s because I’m pregnant and you can see the results of my mistake,” 18-year-old Maddi Runkles told the Washington Post.
Principal David R. Hobbs sent out a letter to parents of students at the tiny Christian school, saying Runkles is being prevented from walking at graduation “not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral. … The best way to love her right now is to hold her accountable for her morality that began this situation.”
Seems like two ways of saying the same thing, right?
Anti-abortion groups think so. Runkles told WaPo she “chose life” and “sometimes it feels like it wasn’t worth it.” She insists that in the end, it’s been a “blessing” anyway, but anti-abortion activists worry that students in her situation may see her struggle and decide it isn’t worth it and isn’t a blessing.
The president of March for Life called the punishment a “bad decision” and the “antithesis of what it means to be Christian.” The president of Students for Life of America has spoken out, too. Interestingly, while they do that, Runkles says that moms at the school have also been speaking out… by tagging her on Facebook and writing “nasty comments.”
While Hobbs stands by his hardline promotion of abstinence and local mothers apparently go on the attack, high schoolers are still having sex, even at small, private, Christian schools. At least in one case, that means one young woman won’t be able to attend her own graduation.
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