Pro-Life Teens Ask for Apology After Altercation With Dean

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Two teenagers have asked the Downingtown Area School District to issue them an apology after the school’s dean of academics and student life berated them during an anti-abortion protest.

Conner and Lauren Haines, 16 and 19 years old respectively, filmed Dr. Zack Ruff screaming while they demonstrated against abortion. The heated exchange occurred for about 20 minutes as the teens and school administrator argued about whether they could legally protest outside Downingtown STEM Academy.

Ruff “willfully, intentionally and aggressively approached within inches of Conner’s face and eventually attempted to rip a sign out of his hands,” read a letter drafted by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the siblings.

Many parents and students have accused the pro-life protesters of obstructing traffic and distracting drivers with graphic images of abortions. Ruff supporters have allegedly sent “hundreds of messages” to the Haines since the incident took place on April 21.

“Some of those comments were threatening and vulgar. This hostility to the First Amendment by the next generation may be even more dangerous than that of a school,” the letter read.

Conner Haines denied harassing drivers, but did admit to displaying disturbing content in protest of the “holocaust of abortion.”

Ruff is on administrative leave pending a formal investigation by the school district. Parents and community members are gathering Wednesday to discuss his fate. An online petition in support of Ruff has now garnered more than 41,000 signatures in favor of keeping Ruff on staff.

The Haines are not students within the school district. They are asking for an apology and guarantee they can demonstrate outside STEM without being turned away.

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