Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
Over the past several months, protests have become an increasingly common sight across the U.S. — protests for science, for women’s rights, for the environment and, of course, protests against President Trump.
Incidents at some schools, however — most notably the University of California, Berkeley — have raised questions about whether or not conservative voices are granted the same leeway on school grounds.
Now, a heated altercation from a Pennsylvania high school on Friday, April 21, seems to have raised the same question when a YouTube video emerged showing a popular school administrator screaming and swearing at two pro-life teens:Image Credit: Screenshot/YouTube
According to NBC 10, the two young protesters — a 16-year-old and his 19-year-old sister — were standing on the sidewalk outside Downingtown STEM Academy holding signs that warned of the “holocaust of abortion.”
Near the start of the video, Dr. Zack Ruff, an assistant principal at Downington, approaches the duo, who are members of Christian activist network Project Frontlines, and tells them to move along or he’ll call the police.
When the teens refuse and begin to argue their pro-life case — including that “innocent children are being murdered in our society” — Huff appears to grow more and more emotional, replying, “They’re not children, they’re cells. Go home!”
Pointing at the pro-life signs, he adds:
“You can go to hell where they are too.”
When the protester suggests that Ruff should “turn to Jesus Christ,” he replies:
“Listen here, son. I am as gay as the day is long. I don’t give an f**k what Jesus tells me about what I should and should not be doing.
You are harassing public school students and I will call the police if you don’t shut up.”
A few moments later, Ruff tells the duo that “just because you believe in a book of fiction doesn’t mean I have to,” adding, “you and Trump can go hell.”
At one point, an unidentified man approaches and appears to defend the two teens:Image Credit: Screenshot/YouTube
Getting in Ruff’s face, the man yells:
“You got a f***ing problem? He’s on public property …
He can do whatever the f**k he wants.”
The man only walks away once Ruff threatens to call the police, calling the educator “another loony, whacko liberal.”
Since then, a number of students and parents have reportedly come to Ruff’s defense, calling him “a really good guy”:
“Mr. Ruff had every right to defend his students. What they are not showing in this video is what the posters actually depicted.
There was a horrendous image of a dead baby covered in blood. This image distracted me and I almost rear-ended the person in front of me.”
Nonetheless, school officials saw things differently:
In a Facebook post from Thursday, district officials note that they are “deeply disappointed” by the “unfortunate situation” involving Ruff.
Writing that the issue “has now become a personnel matter,” district officials have reportedly placed the 10-year employee on leave and launched a formal investigation into the incident.
See the full, 18-minute unedited version of the incident between the teens and Ruff that seems to have placed the educator’s job in jeopardy: