Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Banning Gang Attire At School

If a gang wants to show its colors at school, it should adopt the school colors of the local high school. I'd say that perhaps the gang should adopt the American flag as its symbol, but seeing how even the American flag can get you sent home from school now in certain schools, perhaps they should stick to the school colors.

Some gangs seem to have adopted a rosary to identify themselves, and a 7th grade boy got suspended because he wore his to school. A federal judge has told the school district, "Not so fast."

Raymond Hosier is wearing his purple rosary beads to school again.

A day after a federal judge ordered a New York middle school to reinstate the seventh-grader, who was suspended for wearing the Catholic prayer beads last month, the 13-year-old Schenectady boy is proudly displaying them again.

He wears them in memory of his younger brother, who died while clutching rosary beads following a car accident in 2005.

"Raymond believes in his heart of hearts that without the rosary, something's going to happen to him," his mother, Chantell Hosier, told "They make him feel safe -- that's the way he explains it. This child is still grieving."

Chantell Hosier confirmed that Raymond wore the beads to Oneida Middle School on Wednesday after Judge Lawrence Kahn ordered the boy to be reinstated pending a hearing on June 11 into whether the suspension violated his civil rights.

District officials declined to comment when reached by, citing pending litigation, but they have contended Hosier violated a policy banning gang-related clothing such as rosary beads, which are sometimes worn as gang symbols. That led the American Center for Law and Justice to file a lawsuit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court arguing that Raymond's suspension last month violated his rights to free speech and religion.


Ellen K said...

There's a difference between holding a rosary and wearing it. The rosary as a religious symbol is NOT jewelry. As a Catholic, even lapsed, I really resent this being co-opted by gangs as their symbol because they know that it holds religious significance that will prevent it being banned. I see kids, mainly those who subscribe to an urban type of chic, who wear these "rosaries" in various colors to make whatever shoes they wear on any given day. This is something that the Church should speak out about, but will not for fear of offending Hispanics.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how you justify asking students to keep their feet of the desk. I agree with the policy but I'm not quite sure how to defend it.


Darren said...

If keeping your feet off the furniture isn't enough of a reason, I'm at a loss.