Monday, February 25, 2008

Crucifixes Are Gang Symbols Now?

They are, according to this story:

ALBANY, Ore. — A pair of Albany teenagers suspended for "gang-related behavior" because they were wearing crucifixes say they were only wearing gifts from their mothers.

Jaime Salazar, 14, his friend Marco Castro, 16, were suspended from South Albany High School recently after they refused to put away the crucifixes they were wearing around their necks.

Salazar said Principal Chris Equinoa saw his necklace and told him to put it away. "I was like, why?" Salazar said. "He says it's related to gangs."

It's odd that the reporter didn't call the mothers and ask them if they did, in fact, give the boys the crucifixes.

Equinoa said religious items are not banned. But, as principal, he reserves the right to ask a student to remove, or cover up, any item he feels could indicate gang affiliation, even a crucifix.

Interesting. What happens when gangs start adopting school mascots or school uniforms as symbols? What will the kids be allowed to wear to school at that point?

Is banning the only tool in this arsenal?

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

I have to admit to having mixed feelings on this. For one, I don't want to become a purely secular society like France, wherein symbols of faith cannot be publicly worn. That's wrong. On the other hand, most Catholics will tell you that you do NOT wear a rosary. It's meant as a way to keep track of the series of prayers and wearing it around your neck borders on sacrilege. Nuns and religions may have then hooked on their belts, but then their primary job description is to pray constantly. I hate it that gangs are abusing this as a symbol of their group. A crucifix on a chain around someone's neck is one thing, a rosary is quite something else.