Pregnant teen barred from graduation in Hagerstown receives diploma

Posted at 6:11 AM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-05 07:22:32-04

A Maryland high school senior barred from participating in her Christian school's commencement because she is pregnant was awarded her diploma in a separate ceremony.

The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reports that 18-year-old Maddi Runkles was awarded her diploma Saturday morning in a ceremony at the Benevola United Methodist Church in Boonsboro. The paper reports that some 140 friends and family came to support the teenager during the hour-long ceremony. Runkles wore a white cap and gown and got a standing ovation. She didn't give a speech.

Runkles discovered she was pregnant in January. Her school, Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, barred her from its graduation ceremony because she violated the school's code of conduct by having premarital sex. She was also removed her from her position as student council president.