A school official in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has been put on leave after a video was posted online of him berating, badgering, bullying and screaming at two pro-life students standing on a sidewalk outside the Downingtown STEM Academy with signs carrying their Christian and pro-life message.
Assistant Principal Zach Ruffs was off duty, and no further information was available, as a school receptionist directed WND to the school website and then disconnected when asked about the incident.
In an unsigned notice online, the school said, “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.”
Ruff approached two students with an organization called Project Frontlines who were speaking out against the holocaust of abortion – the estimated 60 million unborn who have been killed in America since Roe v. Wade created a right to abortion.
On the video, Ruff charged up to the students and threatened to call police because they were “trespassing” on school property.
“They’re not children. They’re cells. Go home!” screamed Ruff.
“Sir, you need to turn to Jesus Christ,” the teen responded.
“Listen here, son. I am as gay as as the day is long. I don’t give a (expletive) 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,” Ruff said.
The pro-life activists recorded the bullying and then uploaded it to YouTube (Editor’s Note: Video contains extremely offensive language by the school official):
The students repeatedly expressed opposition to abortion and offered Jesus Christ as the way to salvation.
“You can go to hell where they are too,” Ruff told them, pointing at the images on their signs.
Among his other rants:
“They’re not children they’re cells.”
“You’re at a science-based school. Those are cells. Take it out and if it can live on its own that’s freakin’ awesome. Otherwise you’re harassing.”
“You and Trump can go to hell.”
“Shut up and leave me and my children alone.”
“Shut your mouth and don’t talk to my students. You do not have permission to speak and engage.”
He made multiple threats to call police, including when an adult got out of a nearby car and expressed displeasure with Ruff’s anti-free speech attitude.
Ruff eventually resorted to shouting and screaming to try to drown out the students’ message.”
“I looooove a paraaaaade!”
To the student’s statement that “Jesus Christ can set you free from your sins,” he said: “This is a public school. We don’t believe in that here.”
Ruff later disappeared abruptly from the video while the pro-life students were engaged in conversation with another student.
NBC Philadelphia reported spokeswoman Patricia McGlone said Ruff is on leave pending a formal investigation.
The station launched a full-scale defense of Ruff.
“One Facebook user, who identified herself as a student at STEM, said the protesters were blocking traffic and distracting drivers with graphic images of aborted fetuses,” the station said.
“‘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,’ she wrote.”
The station continued: “Parent Rebecca Ziserman Cesarz, who graduated from the school district and now has a senior enrolled at STEM, said many in the community are standing behind Ruff. A Drexel alum, Ruff has worked at STEM for 10 years and is popular with both students and faculty. A hashtag, IstandwithasstprincipalRuff, has been created to show solidarity.”
Cesarz said: “The bottom line is Ruff is a really good guy. A lot of students, parents, administrators, teachers really love him. It’s a small school and he’s a big part of it.”
Cesarz described Ruff as a “big teddy bear who has a great sense of humor.”
He dressed as Dr. Who one Halloween, she said.