SCHOOL BANS STUDENT'S ROSARY FEARING IT MIGHT BE A GANG SYMBOL.
“A teacher sent him down to the office, but the reason he was wearing it was for his grandmother.”
Last year, a sixth-grader from Fremont, Nebraska, was banned from wearing her rosary-like necklace at school. Now, months later, another religious flap is unfolding in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, where 15-year-old Jake Balthazor has been told that he cannot wear the rosary he purchased to support his cancer-stricken grandmother. In both instances, school officials’ fears that the necklaces would indicate gang membership were cited as the basis for the ban.
“He was upset when he came home from school,” Chad Balthazor, Jake’s father, explained . “A teacher sent him down to the office, but the reason he was wearing it was for his grandmother.”
The decision to ban the black hematite rosary, which was purchased by the teenager in Mexico, was made by Coon Rapids High School leaders this past Wednesday. Jake has been proudly wearing the necklace in support of his grandma, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
While the student will no longer be able to wear the necklace — at least according to official policy — he is allowed to carry it with him in his pocket. Fox News has more about the intriguing anti-rosary policy:
The school district’s policy forbids any “apparel, jewelry, accessories or matter of grooming which by virtue of its color arrangement, trademark or any other attribute denotes membership in an organized gang,” Mary Olson, director of communication for the Anoka-Hennepin School District,
Both Jake and his grandmother, who has also stated her disdain for the school’s handling of the situation, are Lutherans.
"Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, AMEN!"
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