Skip to comments.School Suspends Teens for Wearing Crucifixes
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 ...
This is so wrong on so many levels.
The principal had better watch for the Mezuzah gang.
The school has definitely violated these girls’ First Amendment rights. IMHO.
Yeah, those 12 Apostle dudes are really baaaad!
Why does this bozo Principal. Chris Equinoa still have a job?
It's a shame when a gang co-opts a religious symbol
“The school has definitely violated these girls First Amendment rights. IMHO.”
They aren’t girls.
>>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.
I believe Hitler did the same thing with the swatica (spel?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget those Amish gangs.
Ruined them for all time, I agree.
It is public school - what do these kids expect?
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