Zach Ruff

Zach Ruff, former Assistant Principal at the Downingtown (Pennsylvania) STEM Academy, is inducted in the Hall of Shame for his grossly unprofessional behavior on April 21, 2017 in trying to suppress the free speech of two teenagers protesting abortion outside of the Downingtown school. The protesters were on a public sidewalk. Dr. Ruff told the teens to go to hell and used other offensive language. Concerning children in the early stages of development, Dr. Ruff shouted at the teens, They’re not children, they’re cells. The incident was recording on video. Dr. Ruff was suspended without pay until an investigation by the School District was conducted. Before that could happen, to the credit of Mr. Ruff, he resigned despite petition with 50,000 signatures in his support. A Press Release by the School Board said in part: After considering this situation in total, its divisive impact on the community, the reaction from his students, and the attention this situation has garnered nationally, it is clear to us that Dr. Ruff decided that the best thing for his students, the School District, and the community was to resign from employment effective at the close of business on Thursday, May 11, 2017. 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. 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. This school district will not interfere with the rights of anyone to express themselves, as those US Constitutional 1st Amendment rights are established in law. The Downingtown Area School District has policies that comply with all legal requirements, including compliance with the First Amendment. The two demonstrators had a right to be on a public sidewalk and a legal right to speak there as well. Note: The two student protesters have been inducted into the Hall of Honor. Here is the Press Release: dr-zach-ruff-resignation-5-11-17 Video of the incident: Run time: 18 minutes

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