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School Bans Pregnant Teen From Walking At Graduation

By: Krystle Crossman

At the Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland there is a very strict code that all students must abide by. When they enter their school year they must sign a pact that states that they will not have premarital s*x, they will not drink, and they will not do drugs. This code is in the student handbook. Maddi Runkles chose to engage in premarital s*x and ended up getting pregnant. She had thought about what she was going to do and ultimately decided to keep the baby even though she and the father are not going to be married. She had her pregnancy for a while but then came out and told her parents about it. She wasn’t sure whether she should say anything to the school because she knew that there was going to be some form of punishment for her mistake. She had seen other kids get suspended or detention for drinking so she knew that there would be a punishment handed down.

Runkles came forward on our own and told the school administration about her pregnancy. They immediately took action and told her that she was not allowed to walk with her senior class during graduation in the summer. She was still allowed to attend the event however she was not allowed to participate in it. She feels that she is being punished more harshly than some of the other students. She was suspended for two days. She was also taken off of her student council position at the school. The principal stated that she was lucky that she was not expelled and that she could still go to graduation even if she can’t participate in it. He stated that discipline is the application of love meaning that she needs to deal with getting a little lesson in tough love when she makes a mistake. She knew that there would be a consequence for having premarital s*x and now had to deal with that consequence along with dealing with the pregnancy.

Students for Life, an organization that deals with anti-abortion topics, states that Runkles should have been commended for the fact that she is planning on keeping the baby as opposed to having an aborted. She is still focusing on her academics and getting good grades and will continue to do so until the end of the year. Runlkes is planning on staying in the city so that her parents can help her raise her baby as a single mother. The principal would not budge and said that she is forgiven for her transgressions however she must still deal with the consequences and the punishment that has been handed down to her.

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