Student suspended for bringing rosary beads to school

A devout Catholic teenager was suspended for the crime of bringing his rosary beads to school. The school claimed it could be showing gang affiliation or endangering “the safety, health, morals or welfare of himself or others”.

The ACLU, shockingly, is seemingly silent on this.

The parents of a high school student from Rockland County are demanding answers after their ninth grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school.

He was suspended even though the school doesn’t even have a policy banning them. So did the principal go too far? Jason Laguna is a former altar boy and proud Catholic. He got his rosary beads as a gift, thinks they look cool and sometimes wears them under his shirt at school. But last Friday, right before dismissal, he pulled them out on his way out. He was given a one-day suspension from Fieldstone Secondary School. His mother calls the punishment extreme, considering the 14-year-old is a member of student government and, according to his last report card, “is a pleasure to have in class.” Laguna says she was told the school has an unwritten policy regarding beads because they could be used to show gang affiliation. The principal claims it was insubordination, saying Laguna’s actions, “endangered the safety, health, morals or welfare of himself or others.” Jason was supposed to stay home Friday, but late Thursday the district superintendent put that on hold pending further investigation. It may not be divine intervention, but his mother has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union as she continues to fight the suspension.

Yeah, this kid belongs to a gang all right. It’s called “the Catholic Church”, and those thugs are dangerous. They’ll shank you if you don’t watch your back!

In all seriousness, how could rosary beads, of all things, endanger the morals of others? The health and safety part will obviously get the typical school administration double-speak about how they could offend some poor non-Christian and cause violence (just like wearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo!). But morals?! I really want to know where they got that one from. One would think that being a devout Catholic, and showing it by wearing rosary beads, would speak well to this boy’s morals. But not at this high school!

Also curious: how is a student supposed to follow an “unwritten” rule? It sounds to me like the typical religious discrimination found in schools today against Christianity, and the school just made up an excuse to stop this boy from expressing his faith. Amazing and ironic, isn’t it, that a student would be persecuted for his religion in a country founded by people seeking to escape religious persecution and discrimination.

I did some searching to see if the ACLU has taken up the case, but didn’t find anything. I don’t expect them to; after all, they don’t look out for the civil liberties of Christians.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!