DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) - An assistant principal at Downingtown STEM Academy in Pennsylvania was caught on video harassing and threatening young pro-life students. A video published April 26 shows 16-year-old Conner Haines and his 19-year-old sister Lauren holding up pro-life signs on a public sidewalk near the high school. Assistant Principal Zach Ruff is shown yelling and cursing at them, cursing Jesus Christ, and admitting he is "gay as the day is long."
The high school has placed Ruff on administrative leave following the incident, issuing the following statement:
We have begun a thorough investigation into this unfortunate situation and have placed the staff member on administrative leave. We do not condone or support the conduct expressed in the video and are deeply disappointed that this incident occurred. His conduct does not represent the values of the school district or the respect we expect our employees to show for the civil rights of others. This has now become a personnel matter, and we must follow the policies and procedures that we have in place concerning staff issues. We truly apologize to all for the actions of this employee.
Church Militant reached out to the high school for comment and contact information for Ruff. The email given to Church Militant ended up being non-functioning.
(Warning: graphic language)
Throughout the confrontation, Conner spoke to the passing vehicles about abortion. Ruff walked up close to the student, stuck his finger in the teenager's face and snapped, "Don't talk to my students! I will call the police if you don't shut up."
A moment after Ruff began standing in front of the two activists, Conner remarked that the unborn victims of abortion are imagebearers of God. Ruff shouted, "You can go to Hell, where they are, too!"
When Conner told Ruff that children were being murdered, Ruff spun around and barked "They're not children; they're cells."
Ruff repeatedly threatened to call the police on the teenagers, accusing them of harassment. The first time Conner spoke the name of Our Lord, Ruff got in his face and said, "Listen here, son, I'm as gay as the day is long, and twice as sunny. I don't give a f*** what you think Jesus tells me and what I should and should not be doing."
Conner didn't back down: "Jesus can set you free from your sins. It's the truth; it's the Gospel. He died on the Cross."
Becoming more incensed, Ruff proceeded to insult the Bible. "Just because you choose to believe a book of fiction doesn't mean I have to. You and Trump can go to Hell."
When Lauren spoke about the reality of Hell, Ruff scoffed, saying, "That's only if you believe in Hell, which I don't, so I'm not going. It doesn't work that way, sister. Shut up, and leave me and my children alone."
An adult in a passing car, witnessing the confrontation, exited his vehicle and confronted Ruff for his behavior, rebuking him. "He's on public property, he can do whatever the f*** he wants," the man said to Ruff. He stormed off and called Ruff "another f***in' looney, whacko liberal."
When Church Militant asked STEM Academy to comment on the investigation into Ruff's behavior, the school said it could not comment on matters of personnel, and directed us to its public statement.