Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

A student has been banned from her graduation because she’s pregnant


A US high school has banned a student from participating in her graduation because she’s pregnant, citing it as a symptom of “sexual immorality”.

Maddi Runkles attends Heritage Academy, a private Christian institution in Maryland, and is 25 weeks pregnant.

Read more: Half of US citizens want women to be forced to take their husband’s surname by law, study finds

As a result, the school has claimed that the 18-year-old has broken the high school’s rules of having sex outside of marriage.

According to Fox 5 News, all Heritage students are bullied into signing asked to sign a pledge at the start of the school year, which includes a promise to abstain from “sexual immorality”.

Maddi Runkles (via Fox 5 News)

Maddi Runkles (via 5 Fox News)

Runkles and her parents say they are struggling to understand how the conservative Christian institution can be so vehemently against abortion and yet still turn their backs on one of their own students.

“You can't be pro-life, but then refuse to support the girl that keeps her baby,” said Runkles, who added that she only told her teachers and peers about her pregnancy because she did not wish to deceive them.

Read more: Why women are always blamed for acts of violence committed against them

And it is not as if she hasn’t already been punished for her ‘sins’; the school asked Runkles to remain home for two days during an unofficial suspension and she was forced to step down from her leadership roles within the institution.

Now, she says she will be the only one in her class of 15 students denied the chance to join in the school’s celebrations.

“It’s like a small school and it is such a big deal and I am the only one that is not going to be there that night to walk to the stage,” she said.

The school has defended the school decision to exclude Runkles from the ceremony.

“Maddi is being disciplined not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral,” they said in an official statement, which has since been published on Twitter.

“The Student Pledge which every student from 5th grade through to 12th grade signs stats that this application of Phillippnes 4:8 ‘extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs’.

“Heritage is pleased that she has chosen to not abort her son. However her immorality is the original choice she made that began this situation.”

The Board added that they are not “harsh, cruel, hard-hearted men” (because, of course, they are men) and that they spent “countless hours in prayer” before coming to a decision.

“[On graduation night, we] want God to be glorified in a dignified manner,” they finished. “Please enable us to do this.”

Images: Fox News / iStock


viral text.jpg

Badass woman schools male co-worker over sexist promotion text


These feminists are blazing a trail with their nonprofit slogan tees


Brigitte Macron’s daughter hits back over ‘sexist and ageist’ attacks


The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017