A senior at a Christian high school in Hagerstown, Maryland, will not be able to walk at her upcoming graduation because she is pregnant, local television station WHAG reported this week.
Maddi Runkles, 18, has a 4.0-grade point average, is president of the student council and an officer of Key Club.
Despite all of her accomplishments, the school says she cannot walk in the ceremony on June 2 because she broke the student pledge of abstinence.
Heritage Academy Principal Dave Hobbs released a written statement to the New York Times saying the pregnancy was, “an internal issue about which much prayer and discussion has taken place.”
Hobbs told WHAG that it is in Runkles’ best interest. “To have a girl who is seven months pregnant walking at graduation would be easily misunderstood, bringing even more pressure onto Maddi,” Hobbs said.
But Runkles and her family disagree with Hobbs and want her to walk at graduation.
The anti-abortion group “Students for Life of America” supports Runkles and says she was already suspended so kicking her out of graduation is extreme punishment.
“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.
In a letter to the student body, Hobbs wrote that Runkles is being disciplined because she was “immoral,” not because she is pregnant.