Zach Ruff, the dean of academics and student life at the Downingtown, Pennsylvania, STEM Academy, is on administrative leave after a confrontation with two pro-life activists outside the high school that was captured on video.
The heated exchange started virtually immediately when the siblings demonstrating against abortion refused to leave the sidewalk outside the magnet school, which they said was public property. The official indicates that he’s going to call the cops, but that doesn’t seem to happen in the footage.
Throughout the dispute, Zach Ruff can be heard unleashing profanity at the duo (who are reportedly affiliated with the Project Frontlines, a Christian activist network) including the F-bomb in the cringeworthy — regardless of your views, if any, about the abortion issue — 18-minute video, which has logged about 180,000 hits so far on YouTube.
It has yet to be established why the teens, identified by the Daily Mail and other news outlets as Conner Haines, 16, and Lauren Haines, 19, targeted that particular school in Chester County for their anti-abortion protest.
The angry assistant principal at the Philadelphia-area school insists that he is protecting departing students from harassment, which allegedly included graphic images on posters, which he tries to physically block.
At one point, he and an adult briefly get into each other’s faces.
In the footage, Zach Ruff describes children who the duo claim are being murdered via abortion as “cells” and chides them for protesting outside a science-based school. The official also describes the Bible as a work of fiction. For some reason, he brings President Trump into the exchange by yelling at the siblings that “you and Trump can go to hell.”
When one of the teens suggested that he turn to Jesus Christ, Ruff offered this provocative response as heard on the video.
“Listen here son, all right, 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.”
The assistant principal also tries to drown them out so they can’t be heard by passing motorists by singing “I love a Parade.”
Watch the NSFW video embedded below and draw your own conclusions about the confrontation.
According to Philly Voice, the Downingtown STEM Academy is rated as the third-best high school in the state and in the top 60 throughout the country.
A 10-year employee of the Downingtown East High School, the STEM Academy’s website indicates that Ruff is putting the finishing touches on his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Management at Drexel University.
Ruff is apparently receiving a lot of support from the Downingtown community through an online petition and the #istandwiththeasstprincipalruff hashtag, NBC Philadelphia reported.
Last Thursday, the Downingtown Area School District issued the following statement about the incident on Facebook.
“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.”
Watch this space for updates on the incident involving the school principal and the teenage pro-life activists in the Philadelphia area.
[Featured Image by igorstevanovic/Shutterstock]