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?