Christian School Bans Pregnant Teen From Walking In Her High School Graduation

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Heartbreak, Sex

Make up your mind, folks. Do you want to stop abortion or not?

I know what it takes to make a decision to have a child you don't really want. 

I also know what it's like to be pregnant and unmarried with a future of hardship ahead of you if you decide to keep your baby.

Although I'd like to say it's my Christian upbringing that made me decide to be pro-life and choose to have children despite the option of having an abortion, that's not the reason I made those choices.

My experiences shaped my views on it.

I was once a teenager having sex with my boyfriend while attending a private Christian high school and also actively going to church.

I wasn't the only Christian teenager having sex with her boyfriend either, and I certainly won't be the last.

There were lots of us, and most of us weren't using birth control because that was not a conversation you could have with your parents. 


Related: 7 Guys Reveal What They REALLY Think Of The Male Birth Control Pill

 

A few of my friends who found out that they were pregnant were scared to death. Some of them decided not to keep their babies, and they ended up choosing to terminate the pregnancy instead. 

I have seen the emotional impact an abortion can have for years for other Christian women, especially when that choice is made as a wayward teen.

Most Christians truly believe abortion is wrong. Some choose to have one anyway because the stigma of being a single mother with an unplanned pregnancy seems like a greater burden to bear. But because many Christians feel that abortion is worse than admitting their fault and having the child, they choose to keep the baby, even in lieu of public disgrace.

 

The stigma remains: If you get caught having sex because you got pregnant, you not only risk your future, you risk your reputation and everything that you've ever worked for in your life. 

Case in point, meet 18-year old Maddi Runkles, who was just about to graduate from her private Christian school.

When Maddi found out that she was pregnant, she decided to follow her personal convictions regarding the right to life. A model student, Maddi has a 4.0 GPA, played on the school soccer team, and was president of the school's student council. She would have been graduating this year and walking with her friends to receive her diploma, but she's not.

Instead, she is fighting her would-have-been alma matter instead. Why? Maddi decided to keep her baby. 

A person would think that a student with years of hard academic work behind her might have determined that the risk of public disgrace wasn't worth it, let alone the effort of taking on the responsibility of an unexpected child.

Her decision truly is a highly pro-life choice to the core.

But rather than make an example of love within her school for what is a hard decision to make, school officials of the Heritage Academy in Huntsville, Maryland chose to ban her from attending her high school graduation.

The school's administrator issued a written statement about Maddi Runkles to the New York Times that the teen's pregnancy was “an internal issue about which much prayer and discussion has taken place.” 

In a nutshell, Maddi can have her diploma, but she just can't walk in the graduation ceremony.

Her parents went to Students for Life, an anti-abortion group, to try to reverse the school's decision, but they were without success.

As a parent and previous private school teacher who has taught in both Christian and Catholic school, I know that parents and students sign a code of conduct agreement where a full list of "illegal" things that warrant being expelled are classified, and yes, one of those deal-breaking issues includes the possibility of pregnancy.

But like Kristan Hawkins, the Students for Life president stated, “There has got to be a way to treat a young woman who becomes pregnant in a graceful and loving way.”

The message sends a mixed signal. Do Christians want Christian teens to have abortions or not? Obviously, the abstinence message isn't working. Is there a way to strike a balance? 

 

Related: Everything You NEED To Know About Birth Control (You're Welcome)

 

Not all, but some teens will have sex before the age of 18 while still in high school. If that teenager is in a Christian home, there's a possibility that having a conversation about birth control, when abstinence isn't working, would be a tough one to have.

If a girl gets pregnant and chooses to have an abortion, they will be able to get to keep their place in society. Yet, they will suffer emotionally in silence for years because of their moral beliefs, with no way to reverse their decision. 

However, if the pregnant teen decides to keep her baby, she may be punished for being caught and lose her entire social support system. 

That's a set up for failure, and certainly not going to solve the bigger problem: teens having babies. 

I'm sure that Maddi gets that having a baby is a big deal. But now, all the other students who are having sex, like it or not, might reconsider their pro-life position for fear of losing their reputation and place in the community. 

No one is saying that Christian schools have to pass out condoms in the classroom or talk about birth control if they don't want to, but rejecting a teen for doing what she believed to be the morally right thing to do in her situation is the most unloving, confusing message you can send. This move may even end up resulting in other teens in the same situation learning the wrong thing from Maddi's treatment: That if they get pregnant, it's better to keep the situation quiet and get an abortion rather than risk any punishment from keeping the baby. 

And is that really the message that Christians want their children to learn?

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