A school district that employs a “gay” F-bombing assistant principal who was captured on an 18-minute video berating two pro-life advocates on a public sidewalk has been warned to make amends or face legal consequences.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, representing the student pro-life advocates, Conner and Lauren Haines, is demanding in a letter that the Downingtown, Pennsylvania, district, issue a memo to school employees, parents and students “explaining the rights of citizens like Lauren and Conner to speak on the sidewalks around the school about abortion.”
ADF also is demanding a letter from the district and the assistant principal, Zach Ruff, to the students acknowledging their rights were violated and ensuring they won’t be violated again.
The letter asks for a response by May 14.
“Please understand that we will advise the Haines family to take immediate legal action against the Downingtown Area School District and Vice Principal Dr. Zach Ruff if their rights are not immediately restored.”
ADF dispatched the letter to Supt. Lawrence Mussoline of the Downingtown District.
Ruff “berated” two teens for peacefully engaging in free speech about abortion on a public sidewalk, said the letter, sent after William and Dawn Haines retained ADF on behalf of their children, ages 16 and 19.
ADF said Ruff, under Pennsylvania law, likely “assaulted and battered” the teens.
“Ruff’s willful, aggressive attempt to intimidate Lauren and Conner and keep them from speaking by attempting to take their sign constitutes assault and battery under Pennsylvania law,” the letter said. “‘Assault is an intentional attempt by force to do an injury to the person of another, and a battery is committed whenever the violence menaced in an assault is actually done, though in ever so small a degree, upon the person.’
“Moreover, Ruff is taller and heavier than both Conner and Lauren. His aggressive language within inches of Conner’s face was an attempt by physically menace to put them in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. That is criminal assault,” the letter said.
WND reported last week when the school district immediately announced that Ruff was put on leave.
In an unsigned notice posted 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 who represent an organization called Project Frontlines and 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 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.
The letter explains that Downingtown Public School “students (and parents) have followed Ruff’s example – sending Conner and Lauren hundreds of messages indicating they completely misunderstand the concept of free speech. In fact some of those comments were threatening and vulgar.”
“No one should ever be harassed and berated by a government employee on a public sidewalk simply for peacefully engaging in one of the most common free-speech activities,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The severity of this situation, as easily seen in the video, makes what we are requesting of the school district so necessary. This can never happen again, and the school district should ensure that both Conner and Lauren – as well as anyone else who would engage in protected free speech – feel confident that it won’t.”
The letter explains that American courts, based on the Constitution, consider oral communication, literature distribution and displaying hand-held signs protected activities.