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Pregnant teen banned from walking in high school graduation

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — A Maryland high school student has been banned from walking in her high school graduation ceremony because she is pregnant, WTTG reports.

Maddi Runkles attends Heritage Academy, a private Christian school in Maryland, and the school claims Runkles violated the school’s code of conduct by having premarital sex.

“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,” Runkles told WTTG.

Runkles is one of 15 seniors in her class and will be the only one not allowed to walk because she is 25 weeks pregnant, according to WTTG.

The K-12 conservative Christian school has its high school students and parents sign a pledge at the start of every school year.

“This application extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol tobacco, and illegal drugs,” the pledge reads in part.

However, Runkles and her family believe the pledge can be interpreted differently, and doesn’t understand how the school can teach pro-life, but turn its back on a student who is choosing to keep her baby.

“The difference is consistency because we have had other students that have had serious infractions and they have walked in the past and they are allowed to walk this year,” said Scott Runkles, who was president of the school’s board until his daughter told the school she was pregnant.

“You can’t be pro-life, but then refuse to support the girl that keeps her baby,” Maddi Runkles said.

The school believes it has already made an exception by allowing Maddi Runkles to continue attending.

“I believe that every situation should be evaluated individually,” principal Dave Hobbs told WTTG. “When it comes to a precedent, I don’t believe that a precedent always guide decisions that are made in the future.”

The Runkles family plans to have their own private ceremony if the school does not change its mind.