Wow. I have seen liberals suddenly snap when faced with opposing viewpoints, but i’m not sure i’ve ever seen someone go nuclear as quickly as a public school administrator in Pennsylvania did earlier this week.
Zach Ruff is an assistant principal in Downington, Pennsylvania and he really doesn’t like people who are pro-life, or Christian. Like, not at all.
On Wednesday, one of Ruff’s students, 16-year old Conner Haines, decided to express his opinion that abortion was wrong on the PUBLIC sidewalk that runs in front of his High School. Conner was joined by his 19-year old sister and the two held pro-life signs while telling passers-by that abortion was a murder but that they could find forgiveness in Jesus. Soon after they began their completely legal demonstration, Ruff appeared and the situation immediately grew ugly.
When Ruff arrives on the scene he tells them that they must leave or he will call the police. When young Conner replies that the sidewalk is public property and that he has every right to be there and then encourages Ruff to contact the police, Ruff turns to acting as a living wall and stands between the young protester and those passing by.
When Conner tells Ruff that the babies being aborted are “image bearers” of God, the principal tells the young man that he “can go to hell, where they are, too.” Think about that, a public school official just told one of his students that he can “go to hell” while also insinuating that the murdered children are also in hell. Does that sound like the kind of thing a man in his position should say? Does this sound like the kind of man that should be in authority over our children?
The two eventually debate the personhood of the unborn children with Ruff arguing that preborn babies aren’t children, they’re just “cells.” Ruff then adds that Conner is at a “science” based school, so he should believe in science. What is ironic about this is that Ruff has seemingly ignored all the science on abortion and doesn’t realize that children born as young as 20 weeks can survive outside of their mother’s womb (with medical attention)… which would seem to indicate that they are not simply a clump of “cells” but proves that they are indeed living, breathing human beings.
After getting the science wrong, Ruff attacks Conner’s Christian faith. When Conner tells the principal that Jesus could forgive him of his sins, Ruff explodes in anger and begins berating the 16-year old.
“Listen here son, alright?” Ruff said with a chuckle. “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.” Ruff also called the Bible a “book of fiction” and told Conner Haines that “you and Trump can go to hell.”
Then things got… weird. Ruff, apparently having reached his breaking point, grabbed Conner’s poster forcing the teenager to recoil in fear and prompting a nearby parent to get involved.
Haines sure needed it, as Ruff next appeared to grab his sign, compelling the teen to move backward.
“Stop harassing my children!” Ruff yelled.
That apparently set off one witness who got out of his car and got in Ruff’s face.
“You got a f***in’ problem?” the man yelled at Ruff. “He’s on public property.”
Ruff retorted, “He’s not allowed to yell at my students.”
“He can do whatever the f*** he wants,” the man told Ruff.
When Ruff told the man he’s holding up traffic, the man replied, “I don’t give a s**t.”
Ruff then threatened to call the police, and the man smirked before walking off and saying, “Another loony, wacko liberal.”
Seemingly proving the man’s point, Ruff next began singing “I Love a Parade” at top volume to drown out the Haines siblings — he even attempted some dance steps.
In the aftermath of the confrontation and the insanity displayed by the assistant principal, the school stepped in and has suspended Ruff pending an investigation.
On Wednesday evening we became aware of a confrontation that took place on a sidewalk outside the STEM Academy at the end of the school day on April 21, 2017 involving one of our staff members and two protesters. The argument was captured on film. 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.
Some locals have expressed support for Ruff saying that he was just trying to protect his students. However, this argument is disingenuous as his students were never in any danger, or under any threat of danger. Instead, what Ruff did was place one of his students, Conner Haines, in danger by ostracizing and “otherizing” him and his beliefs. Conner will now be a pariah in his school, someone who stands outside the mainstream and is different, and it’s all Ruff’s fault.
Ruff should be fired from his position because he has displayed a clear lack of reasoning skills. He openly attacked one of his own students, yelling at him, mocking him, berating him, and belittling his most closely held beliefs. Ruff purposefully made the school an unsafe place for Conner Haines and that is something that no public school teacher or administrator can ever be allowed to do. Ruff does not deserve the opportunity to serve our students, or to lead our schools.
He MUST be FIRED.
You can reach the Downington STEM Academy by mail or by phone:
335 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335
Phone: (610)269-8460; 7200 Fax: (484)694-5590
Also, you can contact Downington’s Headmaster, Art Campbell directly:
Phone: (610)269-8460; 7201