Pregnant teen graduates in private ceremony after being banned from Christian school's graduation

The pregnant teenager who was banned from attending her official graduation rites by her Christian school in Hagerstown, Maryland, had her own private ceremony with her family, friends and supporters.

(REUTERS / Marvin Gentry)A graduate wears a houndstooth ribbon on her graduation cap during the University of Alabama commencement ceremony at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, August 6, 2011, in honor of fellow students who were killed in a devastating April 27, 2011 tornado.

Maddi Runkles, 18, was banned by Heritage Academy from attending her official graduation ceremony as a disciplinary action for her "immorality," school principal David Hobbs said. He explained that all their students signed a document pledging to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and sexual immorality, Breitbart detailed.

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"Maddi is being disciplined, not because she's pregnant, but because she was immoral," Hobbs explained in a statement on their website.

Runkles told Breitbart News that other students who have at some point broken some of the  school's rules stipulated in the pledge were not given punishment that was as severe as the one given to her. She added that the school removed her leadership positions and told her that she would complete her senior classes at home.

The pregnant teen's parents and classmates requested for Hobbs to allow Runkles to graduate with her batchmates. She was suspended for several days but was eventually told that she could complete her classes in school.

In April, Runkles attended a rally organized by national youth pro-life group Students for Life of America at Washington, D.C. in which a mound made of 196,543 pair of baby socks were arranged at the podium. The display symbolized half of the abortions being performed by Planned Parenthood each year, Newsbusters reports.

During the pro-life rally, Runkles shared that she initially considered abortion when she found out she was pregnant in January because she believed what Planned Parenthood said about babies being a hindrance to one's dreams. However, she said she chose to keep her baby even though it would be difficult.

SFLA, which asserts that the punishment given to Runkles was unfair, said Christians should support a teen who has already admitted her faults and chose life instead of abortion.

SFLA president Kristan Hawkins was among the 100 people who attended Runkles' private graduation ceremony in which she was awarded a college scholarship worth $16,000. She also received almost 7,000 messages from her supporters from all over the world.

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