School District Settles With Abortion Abolitionist Teens Told by Vice Principal to ‘Go to Hell’ With Aborted Babies

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. — A school district in Pennsylvania has agreed to an out-of-court settlement to ensure that free speech is protected on the public sidewalks surrounding its schools. The district had been asked to issue an educational memo to employees of Downingtown STEM Academy after the vice president of the school yelled and cursed at two teenage abortion abolitionists who were holding signs on the sidewalk.

The Downingtown Area School District also submitted a letter to the teens to acknowledge that Vice Principal Zach Ruff had behaved improperly.

“You had every right under our Constitution’s First Amendment to speak and display signs like you did, and that right was violated by Dr. Ruff,” it read. “Rest assured that Dr. Ruff’s actions do not represent the policy of the School District. Instead, we will be providing information to our employees on the First Amendment rights of individuals.”

Click here to read the full settlement and accompanying documents, dated July 14.

As previously reported, the initial incident occurred on April 21 as homeschooler Conner Haines, 16, and his sister Lauren, 19, held signs outside the school that bore messages both about preborn babies and salvation in Christ. However, they were soon approached by Ruff, who took issue with the subject matter and became irate.

He told the Haines’ to leave, but they refused, citing that they were simply engaging in free speech on a public sidewalk.

“These are the people who are being murdered. Sir, these are image bearers of God,” Connor Haines told the dean of academics and student life.

  • Connect with Christian News

“You can go to Hell where they are, too,” Ruff responded. “They’re not children. They’re cells.”

When Haines urged Ruff to look to Christ, he began to laugh and replied, “I’m as gay as the day is long and twice as sunny. I don’t give a [expletive] what you think Jesus tells me and what I should and should not be doing.”

During the encounter, Ruff also began showily dancing and singing “I Love a Parade” so as to keep students who were leaving for the day from seeing the teens’ signs. He also said angrily with a pointy finger, “Shut your mouth and don’t talk to my students.”

Ruff was put on leave from Downingtown STEM Academy after the incident went public, and soon resigned, acknowledging that his behavior was inappropriate.

“In reviewing the video, Dr. Ruff knew that the conduct he displayed was not representative of who he is and was not representative of the kind of educational leader he prided himself on being,” the district explained in a statement in May. “Dr. Ruff has acknowledged that the demonstrators had a right to be on a public sidewalk. He acknowledged that his conduct cannot be defended or condoned and he deeply regretted his actions as displayed on the video.”

The religious liberties organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the Haines and requested the out-of-court settlement, says that it is pleased with the result.

“No government employee—especially someone with authority over students—should harass or threaten anyone for exercising their First Amendment protected freedoms in public,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot in a statement on Thursday. “Conner and Lauren Haines were peacefully expressing their pro-life views, holding signs and talking to those passing by.”

“The bullying and verbal abuse that Zach Ruff inflicted on Conner and Lauren, as documented in the video, made a policy clarification critically necessary, not only for the Haineses, but also for everyone in the Downingtown community,” he outlined. “We commend the district for doing the right thing to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The settlement does not involve any monetary damages or legal costs, only the training of staff on free speech and a written apology to the teens.

Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Paladin Roy

    So where are the white coats??? This lunatic on the school board, and they keep the guy??? Don’t they drug test their staff??

    And yes, I’m sure he DID regret what he said on video. Just like a crinimal who goes to court and says, “Judge, I am sorry I got caught”. How can one tell another to go to hell, if one doesn’t believe it exists (unless of course he lies and says he meant Michigan).

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Pray for this mans deliverance ……………. he is in DESPERATE need of Christ ………

    • Nedd Kareiva

      He belongs in the lake of fire.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        well he belongs where Christ says He does …. but this man needs Christ ……….

  • Edward Borges-Silva

    It would seem that this really was the best of all possible outcomes. The District reaffirmed public space free speech rights. The administrator resigned, acknowledged his unprofessional behavior, and no punitive damages were sought or assigned. Would that all such cases were resolved in such a balanced manner.

  • Charles Findlay

    He’s certifiable.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Church ….. they are coming after you ……

    LGBTQ activist Tim Gill wants to “punish the wicked” who oppose gay marriage. And part of his agenda includes giving $5.25 million to 25 media groups between 2003 and 2015.

    Gill told Rolling Stone “we’re going to punish the wicked” on the “religious right” as part of a shift to focus on nondiscrimination. According to Rolling Stone, Gill is “the nation’s most powerful force for LGBTQ rights.”

    Not once between June 29, and July 26, have the broadcast network news programs mentioned Gill’s comments. Nor have they covered the strong backlash from conservative media like The Washington Times and The Federalist.

    “For Gill and his allies, nondiscrimination is the new front of the movement: a campaign that pits LGBTQ advocates against a religious right that responded to marriage equality by redoubling its efforts,” Rolling Stone writer Andy Kroll summarized on June 29. Considering how much Gill already supports LGBT causes, that might be substantial.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Also seeking state recognition of man-object union

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    At the recent Global Family Planning Summit in London, Melinda Gates, wife of the billionaire leftist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $375 million to organizations that provide contraceptives and abortions over the next four years, according to the U.K.-based magazine Marie Claire.

    Although Gates stated that the money would only go towards contraceptives and sex education, LifeNews com explained that such a claim is utterly false. “The fundability of money makes it easier for pro-abortion organizations to provide abortion internationally,” Life News reported. “In other words, every dollar the Gates Foundation gives to Planned Parenthood for distributing birth control or building an abortion-friendly clinic frees up a dollar in Planned Parenthood’s budget to spend elsewhere.”

    The fact that Melinda Gates would donate such a large amount to population control efforts is rather unsurprising, considering the fact that both she and her husband have been long time advocates of organizations such as Planned Parenthood. For example, between the years 2009 and 2013, the Gates Foundation reported donating $71 million to Planned Parenthood of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Planned Parenthood of Western Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Gates also gave an additional $46.1 million to Marie Stopes International, a British-based organization known for providing what they consider to be “safe abortion services,” in 2012. Planned Parenthood predominantly stations its abortion clinics in African-American neighborhoods, and the vast majority of abortions in America are carried out on African-American women.

  • Vance Moulton

    What a filthy mouthed pervert imbecile ! How he ever qualified to be an assistant principal is any ones guess ! Jesus taught him a lesson he will never forget and if he will not repent then he will face God and Jesus at the final judgment and we will see who goes to hell !

  • Nedd Kareiva

    “Dr. Ruff had a “ruff” go of it, you might say.

  • Dianne

    Outstanding how our young generation is taking a STAND for the UNBORN! With them God is well pleased. The HOLY SPIRIT giving them BOLDNESS to witness! My heart is greatly encouraged because I know what it is like to stand on the frontline in defense of our precious unborn babies and receive cursing from ignorant people who have been deceived by Satan who is a LIAR and the father of it. John 8:44

  • MEP1101


    • Dianne

      Good grief, what are you ranting about in all LARGE CAPS? Using all caps is against guideline rules. Please calm down and come across with less anger and your point maybe better understood. Thanks ?