Pregnant Teen Receives Diploma

Pregnant Maryland teen barred from graduation gets diploma

BOONSBORO, Md. (AP) — 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.

Maddi Runkles, 18, was awarded her diploma Saturday morning in a ceremony at the Benevola United Methodist Church in Boonsboro. 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.