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School Suspends Teens for Wearing Crucifixes
AP ^ | February 25, 2008

Posted on 02/25/2008 6:02:56 PM PST by Mount Athos

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."

Salazar said he argued and was sent to the office. Instead, he went home. Later, he received a note saying he had been suspended for five days for "defiance and gang-related behavior."

Castro, a junior, was suspended for three days after refusing to take off a string of milky rosary beads, with a crucifix and a tiny picture of the Virgin Mary, that he was wearing around his neck. His mother gave it to him, he said.

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.

The school district backs him up.

Principals have the latitude to determine the difference between genuine religious observance and gang symbols, said Jim Haggart, executive assistant to the superintendent.

"We're not trying to squash any religious symbols and we're not trying to get into religion, but we are trying to get into student safety, and that's what we're really concerned about," Haggart said.

Equinoa said he could not comment on specific student discipline issues. But he said any directive to a student to remove or cover any item, religious or otherwise, would not be made without other information.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: antichristian; chrisequinoa; christian; christianpersecution; christianstudents; cross; crucifix; dresscodes; education; gangs; homeschoolingisgood; persecution; publiceducation; publicschool; publicschools; southalbany

1 posted on 02/25/2008 6:02:58 PM PST by Mount Athos
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To: metmom; Tired of Taxes; Aquinasfan; wintertime; wagglebee; narses; Salvation

This is so wrong on so many levels.


2 posted on 02/25/2008 6:07:57 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (You can't be serious about national security unless you're serious about border security)
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To: Mount Athos

The principal had better watch for the Mezuzah gang.

3 posted on 02/25/2008 6:09:54 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Democrat Happens!)
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To: Mount Athos

The school has definitely violated these girls’ First Amendment rights. IMHO.


4 posted on 02/25/2008 6:11:28 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (In November, we're going to be able to elect politicians who say they can change the weather. YAY!)
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To: Mount Athos
"He says it's related to gangs."

Yeah, those 12 Apostle dudes are really baaaad!

Why does this bozo Principal. Chris Equinoa still have a job?

5 posted on 02/25/2008 6:12:06 PM PST by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net (The facts of life are conservative -- Margaret Thatcher)
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Clintonfatigued
From reading about this earlier today on another thread, I learned that the Latin Kings, among others, actually DO use crucifixes as part of their gang symbols. One poster said that the type of cross described here (beaded) is exactly what they wear.

It's a shame when a gang co-opts a religious symbol

7 posted on 02/25/2008 6:13:26 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: Mount Athos
Yesterday
8 posted on 02/25/2008 6:14:39 PM PST by ASA Vet
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: FlingWingFlyer

“The school has definitely violated these girls’ First Amendment rights. IMHO.”

They aren’t girls.


11 posted on 02/25/2008 6:20:45 PM PST by Kirkwood
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To: SoftballMominVA

>>From reading about this earlier today on another thread, I learned that the Latin Kings, among others, actually DO use crucifixes as part of their gang symbols. One poster said that the type of cross described here (beaded) is exactly what they wear.

It’s a shame when a gang co-opts a religious symbol<<

I have a core problem with banning expression in the first place - blue bandanna or whatever.

When it starts to include religions symbols the state has really over stepped.

If the gangs are engaging in criminal activity prosecute them vigorously for that - banning their clothing or jewelry is wrong, IMO. Its not unlike the people who ban guns instead of punishing crime committed with guns.


12 posted on 02/25/2008 6:21:06 PM PST by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: SoftballMominVA
It's a shame when a gang co-opts a religious symbol

I believe Hitler did the same thing with the swatica (spel?)

13 posted on 02/25/2008 6:21:15 PM PST by processing please hold ( "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.")
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To: Clintonfatigued
Quite a few years ago, we had problems with kids wearing rosary beads in school (I teach at a middle school) In that case it was drug related. The color beads worn indicated what type of drugs they were selling.

We told those wearing the rosary beads (only members of a gang that quickly disbanded after the administration had a chat with the police department) that they could be worn but had to be under their shirts.

14 posted on 02/25/2008 6:25:05 PM PST by mware (Americans in arm chairs doing the job that the media refuses to do.)
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To: Morgana

Here’s a thought... have ALL the kids return to school wearing crosses and crucifixes in defiant display.
Let’s see the school try to send ALL of them home after that.


15 posted on 02/25/2008 6:30:03 PM PST by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: processing please hold
It's a shame when a gang co-opts a religious symbol
I believe Hitler did the same thing with the swatica (spel?)

Indeed he did. The swastic (sp?) is a sanskrit symbol that has thousands of years of historical significance in Hinduism as do the Aryans, who were not necessarily white, blonde, blue eyed, etc. Hitler hijacked these things and changed the way the swastic and the term "aryan" are perceived forever.

16 posted on 02/25/2008 6:32:09 PM PST by American Infidel (It's pronounced 'ASK' not 'AXE'. It's a 3 letter word. How difficult can it be?)
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To: Mount Athos

They were told to put them away or out of view. The kids are hispanic and so is the pricipal. They were not told to throw them away.

I support school officials until I have proof that they are wrong.


17 posted on 02/25/2008 6:33:14 PM PST by Soliton
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To: Natty Bumppo@frontier.net

Don’t forget those Amish gangs.


18 posted on 02/25/2008 6:34:46 PM PST by purpleraine
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To: American Infidel
Hitler hijacked these things and changed the way the swastic and the term "aryan" are perceived forever.

Ruined them for all time, I agree.

19 posted on 02/25/2008 6:35:57 PM PST by processing please hold ( "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.")
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To: FlingWingFlyer

It is public school - what do these kids expect?


20 posted on 02/25/2008 6:38:28 PM PST by impimp1
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To: Mount Athos; All

The last sentence in the article excerpt says they do not ask students to remove items such as this without OTHER information leading them to think it is not simply a religious item.

Considering I have seen quite a few unsavory Hispanic characters I know are not exactly devout wearing crucifixes, I would not be surprised if some gangs do wear them.....it is a way to have a symbol that isn’t automatically assumed to be gang-related.


21 posted on 02/25/2008 6:39:14 PM PST by rwfromkansas
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To: Mount Athos

School should be able to have any rule that they want; however, they have to treat everyone equally. If they can’t wear a crucifix on a necklace, then NO ONE can wear any jewelry at all. The suspension is ridiculous.


22 posted on 02/25/2008 6:44:30 PM PST by DallasDeb ((a.k.a. USAFA2006Mom!))
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To: American Infidel; Incorrigible
Indeed he did. The swastic (sp?) is a sanskrit symbol that has thousands of years of historical significance in Hinduism as do the Aryans, who were not necessarily white, blonde, blue eyed, etc. Hitler hijacked these things and changed the way the swastic and the term "aryan" are perceived forever.

Correct. The swastika was very popular in the boom for "all things oriental/eastern" in American design back in the day. There are several buildings in Bayonne, NJ where the developer incorporated the swastika into the design that still stand. It was even featured on the world famous Corn Palace in 1907:


23 posted on 02/25/2008 6:46:12 PM PST by Clemenza (I live in New Jersey for the Same Reason People Slow Down to Look at Car Wrecks)
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To: Mount Athos
"I was like, why?" Salazar said.

That doesn't strike me as quite altar-boy grammar, somehow. Actually sounds more like a gang-itude.

I have great reverence for crucifixes, but I'll give the principal the benefit of the doubt—unless it turns out he's an ACLU nut.

24 posted on 02/25/2008 6:47:39 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: DaveLoneRanger; 2Jedismom; aberaussie; Aggie Mama; agrace; Antoninus; arbooz; bboop; bill1952; ...

ANOTHER REASON TO HOMESCHOOL

This ping list is for the “other” articles of interest to homeschoolers about education and public school. If you want on/off this list, please freepmail me. The main Homeschool Ping List by DaveLoneRanger handles the homeschool-specific articles. This can occasionally be a fairly high volume list.
25 posted on 02/25/2008 7:08:51 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: processing please hold
You're so right. The swastika was an ancient symbol used by Native Americans that meant good luck, although it faced the opposite direction and was not tilted like the Nazi Hakenkreuz was.


26 posted on 02/25/2008 7:09:31 PM PST by Emperor Palpatine ("There is no civility, only politics.")
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To: Clintonfatigued

You really can’t make stuff like this up.

Truth is stranger than fiction.


27 posted on 02/25/2008 7:09:35 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

A crucifix is a gang symbol?

Who woulda guessed?

We certainly can’t have the kind of gangs running around lose like Jesus did.


28 posted on 02/25/2008 7:11:47 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Mount Athos
"We're not trying to squash any religious symbols and we're not trying to get into religion, but we are trying to get into student safety, and that's what we're really concerned about," Haggart said.

And how is banning a crucifix about student safety?

If they tried that around here, the principal would be tarred and feathered and the superintendent wouldn't have enough hours in the day to deal with the irate parents.

29 posted on 02/25/2008 7:13:44 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

And every kid in the school would wear one the next day.


30 posted on 02/25/2008 7:14:16 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Mike Darancette

That looks much like the Kartouche’s that one could have made up in Ryadh; of course, I never saw any quite like that design for sale there.


31 posted on 02/25/2008 7:21:19 PM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: mware

Too bad you couldn’t have collected them all after school and made them recite the whole program, with each mystery.


32 posted on 02/25/2008 7:23:12 PM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: MSF BU
There ya go.

Actually I was not a Catholic when that incident occured but I was heading down the road towards home.

I mention to a couple of the kids when they complained that rosary beads were not an article to be worn as a fashion statement but as a sign of your faith and a prayer aid.

33 posted on 02/25/2008 7:27:38 PM PST by mware (Americans in arm chairs doing the job that the media refuses to do.)
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To: Mount Athos

Why was the kid even wearing a Rosary? It’s not jewelry, it’s a tool used for prayer. Unless he’s contemplating a religious life and prays frequently during the day, there really is no reason for him to wear it.

Now, that having been said, we homeschool so if my kids want to wear their Rosary I don’t have to even think about whether or not it is gang related!


34 posted on 02/25/2008 7:30:13 PM PST by samiam1972 (It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.)
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To: Mount Athos

“Salazar said Principal Chris Equinoa saw his necklace and told him to put it away.”

I had no idea that Chris Equinoa is a Saudi.


35 posted on 02/25/2008 7:33:20 PM PST by 353FMG (Vote for the Person who will do the least damage to our country.)
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To: 353FMG

I know, my kids use all sorts of different bandanna colors, too.

We have blue shirts “crips” and red jackets “bloods” and we are just ALL messed up.


36 posted on 02/25/2008 7:34:15 PM PST by Marie2 (I used to be disgusted. . .now I try to be amused.)
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To: Soliton

I support the school officials in this too. There are undiscussed variables in this, that it is a gang sign. Just would like proof that these Jr Hi kids really loved the Lord ....

I work with kids that age...


37 posted on 02/25/2008 8:29:27 PM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Morgana

If gangs are such a problem, ban the gang members, not the gang get-up.


38 posted on 02/25/2008 8:36:29 PM PST by tbw2 (Science fiction with real science - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: Mount Athos; abcraghead; aimhigh; Archie Bunker on steroids; bicycle thug; blackie; coffeebreak; ...
Oregon Ping

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Oregon Ping List.

39 posted on 02/25/2008 9:17:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Natty Bumppo@frontier.net
Albany, OR School District -- contact on the front page
40 posted on 02/25/2008 9:20:19 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Clemenza

That looks like the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.


41 posted on 02/25/2008 9:28:29 PM PST by Veggie Todd (Were those magic grits?)
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To: Mount Athos

The schools in our area have adopted dress codes and banned gang symbols. But, I don’t see how it solves the problem. Every time an item of clothing/jewelry is banned, the gang members are just going to come up with another way to send signals to each other.


42 posted on 02/25/2008 10:03:41 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (Dad, I will always think of you.)
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To: Soliton

Yup. It may be vaguely possible that this principal knows more that’s going on in his school district than posters to this forum.


43 posted on 02/25/2008 10:10:36 PM PST by cydcharisse
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To: DAVEY CROCKETT; milford421

Ping.


44 posted on 02/25/2008 11:39:57 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1886546/posts?page=4972#4972 45 Item Communist Manifesto)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Ummm - my guess is two boys - Jaime (Jimmy) and Marco (Mark).


45 posted on 02/25/2008 11:52:33 PM PST by ArmyTeach ("We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it")
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To: Mount Athos

If I recall correctly, that’s how it started in Rome.


46 posted on 02/26/2008 3:26:25 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: cydcharisse

I believe he does, but banning symbols is ultimately useless, and besides, I don’t agree with banning a certain article of dress.


47 posted on 02/26/2008 6:25:52 AM PST by DeLaine (Snowmen fall from heaven.....unassembled!)
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To: samiam1972

>>Why was the kid even wearing a Rosary? It’s not jewelry, it’s a tool used for prayer. Unless he’s contemplating a religious life and prays frequently during the day, there really is no reason for him to wear it.<<

Thank you.
If this were a scapular, I would have a problem. A rosary? Their moms should know better.


48 posted on 02/26/2008 7:35:39 AM PST by netmilsmom (Giving up "Hairspray" and the cast for Lent. Prayers appreciated!)
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