October 5th, 2011
01:53 PM ET

School tells girl wearing rosary violates dress code

An Omaha, Nebraska, sixth-grader was told she could not wear a necklace with a cross to school because the rosary has become an identifying symbol for gangs, CNN affiliate KETV reported.

Elizabeth Carey told KETV that wearing a rosary is an expression of her faith, but Fremont Public Schools says it is a violation of its dress code.

"I'm wearing a cross necklace, a cross T-shirt and a cross bracelet. I'm thinking of how Jesus died on the cross and how he gave up all his sins for us," Elizabeth told KETV.

Schools Superintendent Steve Sexton says the issue is about safety, not religion.

"We had information from law enforcement that there were documented instances of gang activity in the area, and we had information that states that the rosary was being used as a symbol of gang affiliation," Sexton told KETV.

"There are those who want to make this an issue about religion when it's about a singular goal - to create a safe environment for our students,” he said.

Omaha’s Catholic Archdiocese is disappointed with the school's decision.

"I don't think Christians should have to forfeit what is the symbol for the love of Christ because a few people want to misuse that symbol," Archdiocese Chancellor Rev. Joseph Taphorn told KETV.

The American Civil Liberties Union also has gotten involved.

"We understand the serious concerns about gangs in schools, but Fremont Public Schools should demonstrate there is a concrete gang connection before shutting down a student's free speech and religious rights,” Amy Miller, the legal director for the ACLU in Nebraska, told KETV,

"If the ACLU has another view, we will gladly listen to it, but the fact is one year ago we were alerted to the fact that wearing the rosary as jewelry had a gang affiliation,” Sexton said. “We took the position that we did after careful discussion with our attorneys."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Nebraska • United States

soundoff (1,104 Responses)
  1. USA in Decline

    Gangs in Nebraska. Thank you open border advocates.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jamie K

      Um, we have both black and hispanic gangs. Open borders is not the main problem...

      October 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Brian

      @Jamie K...I'm sure you meant to say it, but in Florida we have white gangs, as well.

      October 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  2. Andrew

    school girls are supposed to be thinking about hop scotch and ponies. what's up with all the crosses and thinking about Jesus dying? a little creepy.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  3. David Johnson

    I consider our schools to be a true holy place. A place of truth. No myths or other distractions allowed. The kids should be learning math and science. God – any god – should be left at the door. He can follow the kids homes at the end of the day.

    We have no time to be arguing over what should be worn or not. School uniforms would stop this sort of thing. No jewelry, religious or otherwise. I would even support banning makeup, during school hours. The objective is to learn! Not to mate.

    The Tea Baggers actually applauded Perry for being a bad student. They hate education. They believe science is out to get their god.

    If we don't reverse this idiocy, our children will have very bleak futures. They must be given the best education possible.


    October 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ David Johnson,,,, et al ,,,, "If we don't reverse this idiocy, our children will have very bleak futures. They must be given the best education possible."

      Without GOD or His Sons the Gods where would one be within this huge chasm of cosmological vastness of mostly nothingness? Our atomic "nodulations" of the body are held together by,,,,,,,? Surely not by gravity yet such is what binds our embodiment to this earth's atomic clusters' firmament we know of as land. What therefore binds one's body together if it isn't gravity? Does all life forms have a centralized magnetism of sorts whereby we remain as a body of atomic wholeness? Surely David Johnson might answer these questions,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙁 for I have no answer worthy to claim how a body of life-atoms is held together. 🙁

      October 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Kaiser
      Our bodies are held together via the strong force, the weak force, electromagnitism, gravity does help a little, although not nearly as much as the other three.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jennifer

      School is to learn, but to learn what? Only academic subjects? I would argue that school should focus on educating the whole child, and that includes creating an environment that children can learn to socialize in. How one acts and dresses is a part of socialization. It's what adults deal with in the work place and in the community. I love France – their food, their people, their art, but what I don't like is that in an effort to separate church and state, the government oversteps it's authority and creates rules not allowing anything remotely religious in schools or the work place. Muslim women cannot wear a headscarf, Christians cannot where a cross pendant ect...

      I don't think there should be organized prayer in public schools and religious education in public schools, but I think it's important for society that children learn the delicate balance of being true to their faith while not being inappropriate. School is a good place for learning this.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      I'm The Best! wrote on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm, "@ Kaiser, Our bodies are held together via the strong force, the weak force, electromagnitism, gravity does help a little, although not nearly as much as the other three."

      Can you "I'm the Best!" prove beyond any rationale that there are such things as "the strong force, the weak force, electromagnetism, gravity"? Are not such things "faith-driven"? I do know that one can see "electromagnetism's" magnetic fields yet these strong and weak forces are but theorems of yet profound unprovability. My other question to you is, "What force is it that keeps one's atomic structure from falling thru this earth's land mass' atomic structure and falling all the way to its' core?"

      October 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Kaiser
      These strong and weak forces are not unprovable. In fact, they're seen all the time in high energy collisions at particle colliders. These things aren't faith-driven at all, they're based on observed reactions that happen here on earth all the time.

      As for your other question, the force that keeps our atomic structure from falling through the earth is solely the electromagnetic force. The electrons in your feet push against the electrons in the floor. And since the gravitational force is comparatively so weak, the electromagnetism holds you up and the strong and weak force keep you from breaking into tiny atoms.

      If everyone would spend as much time studying math and science then there would not be anyone who believed in such things as gods or angles and we would all be a much more productive society.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      If everyone would spend as much time studying math and science as they seem to on religion then there would....

      Got a little ahead of myself on that, this is how the last paragraph is supposed to start.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Richard S Kaiser

      I'm The Best has answered your question. Gravity is actually the weakest force. I'm never quite sure what you are arguing. If however, you think / thought that you have found the absolute need for god, you are quite mistaken.

      I have spoken to some believers, who think the entire universe would fly apart if not for god's will that it does not. They are wrong. Science has found NO evidence that a god created or sustains the universe.


      October 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Richard S Kaiser

    One’s "compulsive behaviorism" regarding one’s delusional mindset is apart from many worshipers of Godly faiths. To say one's behavior is DNA related likened to the gay behaviors' staunchness capitulating they were "born this way" is reprehensibly dishonest. A rather young child who is given absolute liberal freedoms to do and think for themselves and is without any adult pedigree of a valued righteous system in such early stages of growth is to me, an unpardonable excuse upon child rearing. It is better to set a child's eye upon their parent's soothing lectures of right-mindedness provided a parent(s) has the means and where-with-all to sew such parent-based lecturing. Children are very malleable and they will mold themselves around mostly any idea(s).

    October 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Brian

      I have no idea what you just said and am not even sure it relates to this story.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Duh

      "I have no idea what you just said and am not even sure it relates to this story."

      He is our pseudo intellectual on this blog and makes for a good laugh which is why his profession should be that of a clown.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Brian wrote on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm, stating, "I have no idea what you just said and am not even sure it relates to this story."

      One’s "compulsive behaviorism" regarding one’s delusional mindset is in this young child's desire to wear a rosary as a necklace. For without proper parental vision, many children might be held in the limelights, be it a school or a "club" within a school or a club outside of the "public" schools. This "rosary" is but a "symbolism", an idolatrous conveyance within the craftiness of idol-essenced bewailing. Our religiously debonair envoys do little to nothing regarding the many forms of idolatry that today does hinder the humanities and their fruited yearnings to insinuate against idolatry's now common place rythmic trivialities.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • True Story

      Richard... I'm curious... are you a robot?

      October 7, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  5. Fed-up

    Stupid girl, Stupid school, stupid parents, & stupid teachers = fooder for stupid commenters , on a stupid story

    October 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Jye75

      Pot, meet kettle

      October 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Kat

      One word: "Brainwashed"

      October 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Mike G


      October 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  6. Vato


    Yes, the rosary is a gang symbol these days. I refuse to stop wearing my Chucks and Doc Martens just because a bunch of idiots in gangs wear them. What are we going to ban next? All clothing because gangs might wear clothes?! I say we make the punishment for being in a gang an immediate death sentence and stop this sh!# right now!!!

    October 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Brian

      Define gang...now you see the problem with this statement.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • anna


      October 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Vato

      It's not hard to identify gangs. The police do it all the time. Why do you think they have handbooks about how to identify?

      October 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Brian

    So what if a Hindu or Budist girl walks into this school with a swastika around her neck...will she have to take it off? It was/is an ancient symbol of good luck that was highjacked by the Nazis. Would the Archdiocese see that as opressing her religius beliefs?

    October 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Yes, she would, not because it signifies being part of a gang, but because its offensive. Should it really be an issue though? Kids aren't allowed to wear shirts with guns or alcohol on them, if somethng like this is offensive (whcih is it, even if that wasn't the original intent) then they shouldn't have to wear it.

      Sikhism is the only one that stands alone because by religous custom they MUST bring in their own symbolic small knife, now should they carry it around with them everywhere and to school? No, but this (unlike the swatika or rosery) is mandatory to have with you, on your person. The swatiska and rosery and whatever else does not have to be worn all day, everyday and especially so that everyone can see it.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Jye75

      Yes, she probably would, unfortunately. Why? Because it's offensive to ignorant fools who cannot see beyond a small point in history that sullied up such a wonderful symbol.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a tick. This isn't people being overly sensitive to a symbol because for 4 years it was used for a different purpose. It is still used to day as a way to spread hate and fear towards the jewish community. Whether you like it or not, it's been co-opted to mean something hateful instead of good luck.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jye75

      Sure it is, Chuckles. Because relatively speaking, there are more people on this planet that use it for its original intents. While there are relatively few buillies who use it as a symbol of hate. So, yes, they are ignorant fools, and those who continue to see it as a symbol of hate, are the only ones making it offensive. BTW, most jewish people that I've spoken to, do realize that the swastika is not a symbol of hate, and put the blame solely on those who perpetrated the atrocities of the holocaust.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Yes and being a jewish person myself, I know the symbol itself is not inherently evil, however its more than just a few who use it AND I have to as.sume from this point forward (at least while Im in the US) that anyone wearing that symbol and draws or whatever is to spread hate and bigtory unless otherwise specified.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jye75

      You obviously missed the part where I said "relatively few" in comparison to the rest of the world. Your automatic assumption of anyone in the U.S. using that symbol as a sign of bigotry and hate, tosses you into the "ignorant fools" category who can't let it go. Gee, why is it, that the swastika is being used by these hateful people? Probably because they remember that the Nazi's used it during their time. So, yes, it's completely about not being able to forget and move on, and seeing a symbol that was around for hundreds of years before, as anything other than a hate symbol.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Funny, I don't consider myself an "ignorant fool", then again the last time the jews weren't really on their games, we lost 6 million. Better to be safe than sorry, and if that means taking the swastika as being used as hatred and bigtory rather than a good luck sign. then so be it. Most people know the swastika as a hate symbol, not a Hindu one, Until you figure out a way to educate America on the difference, I'll stick with being an "ignroant fool" because when the pogroms start again (and trust me, they will) I'll see them coming and get out of dodge before it happens.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jye75

      Well, you might not consider yourself to be an ignorant fool, but you're assuming that if you see someone wearing a swastika, that it means they hate you. Nevermind the fact that the swastika has been around for over 3000 years, and Hitler and his goons only used it for a mere fraction of that time. But since you, and the other ignorant fools only see it as a hate symbol, it will continue to be so, and will continue to be used by those who desire to keep it as such. BTW, the swastika is not simply a good luck sign. You could start by educating yourself... others may follow.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I've done some reading on the symbol, I know the original meaning, thanks. Are you just angry because hitler co-opted it? And is it me that continues to see it as a hate symbol, or is it because its continually used as a hate symbol that I have no other choice. Sorry Jye, just because its been around for so long and was taken by Hitler and turned into something ugly, does not mean that the amount of time before erases what happend in the not too distant past. Symbols play a very big role in every culture, and in America we've perverted ancient symbols as well to mean something different. The Trident? Not satans pitchfork, the washington monument and columns that are in front of lincoln and the capitol didn't exactly stand for liberty and freedom. Jye, I think it's time you stop thinking about what's fair and realize that sometimes life is unfair and if a symbol with a long history of being peaceful is turned into something different, it doesn't just revert back.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Jye75

      Like I said, ignorant fool. Stop holding onto something for nothing. You might as well say that all black people are criminals, but you know better than that, but you have no choice but to see them as criminals because that's what a bunch of racist white people say. Get real.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Sorry kid, calling me a fool does not make it true, nor does your horrendous analogy to try and prove a point. If it was just one group holding on to a new meaning and another trying to change it back it would be different. If Hindu's actually made it a big deal and really tried to change the image, posting it in many places and trying to educate people you may have a point. However you still labor under the assumption that only a small group of people still use this symbol, I would reccomend you climb out from under the rock you are apparently living under and take a look at the world around you. It's used fairly often and frequently and usually spray painted on the sides of JCC's, synagogues and other jewish owned places.

      And I'm not holding on to something for nothing. I've had family murdered because of that symbol, I wouldn't classify that as "nothing" then again maybe you're dead inside, in any event, you should probably be aware the world does not work the way you want to it and you should probably be prepared to compromise instead of refuse to accept reality.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Jye75

      Seems to me that you're the one stuck under a rock. You're the one who refuses to accept reality. You keep saying that there is a huge amount of people who use it for hate, but that's just not true. So because I have a differing opinion than you, a fool who perpetuates the thought of a swastika as a hate symbol, I must be a kid? Not only are you a great fool, but you assume too much. I never said the holocaust was nothing. I'm sorry you had family that was lost to it. If you would take the time to comprehend what I wrote, you'd see that in the real world, most have moved on from Hitler and his atrocities. It's clear that you haven't, along with a relatively few who are like you, or the relatively few who hate you as a Jew. Keywords, "relatively few", when compared to the rest of the world's population who simply don't see the swastika as a symbol of hatred aside from the small amount of time that it's been tarnished that way. Have a good day, and again, I'm sorry for your family's historical loss.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Chuckles

      "Relatively few most have moved on from Hitler and his atrocities. It's clear that you haven't, along with a relatively few who are like you, or the relatively few who hate you as a Jew" Really? No, seriously are you really stateing this as fact? I mean hey, maybe growing up a jew I've heard about it more than you, fine I can accept I've probably had more education on the subject and been bombarded with stories about it more than you, but hating jews has been around since......hmmmm I don't know JESUS, before jesus? This aint new, so the jew haters have found a symbol and use it frequently, maybe you don't pay attention to when there are attacks on jewish owned places around the US, let alone the world (excluding Israel because that would obviously inflate the number gigantically, and it doesn;t need anymore inflation) , but just because you don't hear about it a lot of pay attention doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Do you know how many times during my freshman year alone at my university someone's door got graffitied with a swastika? 20 times, yes, 20. And the school I went to was 33% jewish!
      Jye, it's great you want to try and move forward and try to be blind to a symbol and its meanings, but whether you like it or not, the holocaust has and will forever be tied to the swastika and vice versa.

      I mean, if you get down to the nitty gritty percentages it seems like a lot of the world knows the symbol, but that's because a full 1/3 of the worlds population is in India and China, where there are little no jews and world war II did not have as great an impact, which is why I quantified specifically in AMERICA when people use the swastika, it is to be hateful and a bigot (for the most part). Serisously Jye, whether you believe it or not, the facts are there. Anti-semitism is alive and well and ignoring it or saying "that's in the past, get over it, move on" won't make it go away or the impression it's left, and that my friend, is how you are being foolish.

      Live long and prosper

      October 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Brian

      Wow...not my intention with this post.

      October 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  8. choppertrash

    Nothing is stopping her from wearing it under her shirt. If it is really about faith, that is what she will do. Wearing it outside of her clothes is just "advertising" her "faith", or trying to get attention.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Michelle

      I believe you are very ignorant for making this statement. She has every right to represent her faith. Why should she have to cover her faith just because of some people's abuse for that symbol? She lives in America, she has freedom of religion, let her keep it. At least she is standing up for what she believes. She is a very brave young girl and I am proud of her. And yes, I may be baised, I am a practicing Christian, but I will stand up for her and anyone like her.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Brian

      @Michelle...even a Jew or Muslim or just for Christians?

      October 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Ohio Paul

      Michele, the laws are also there to protect us FROM religion or the endorsement of one religion over another by the Government. If she wants to wear it, she should go to a private school or wear it under her clothes. My guess is that a conservative lawyer probably got to her and her family and convinced her that her rights are being violated...to make some money from being "discriminated" against.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jennifer

      I think it could be easily argued that by wearing the rosary where it is visible, she is professing her faith to those around her and acting as a witness to her testament. Being a witness to one's faith is a big part of being an active Christian in every Christian denomination.

      Brian – this should go for Jews, Muslims, Hindus and every other faith out there as well.
      Ohio Paul – you are incorrect. Separation of church and state isn't about protecting government from religion, it's about protecting the freedom of religion. In his letter to the Baptist, Thomas Jefferson mentions separation of church and state to assure them, that the government will not have a state religion, that no matter what religion or denomination within a religion one may be or may not be, they will not be persecuted as people were in Europe.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Brian

      @Jennifer...I was not saying that other religions shouldn't be allowed to show their faith. I personally do not follow any religious belief so it makes no difference to me. I believe to each their own as long as you don't force something onto me...which I don't believe this girl was doing. My question was directed to Michelle's statement that she would defend this girls right to display her faith as a dedicated Christian. Would she have the same strong sentiment, believe the same thing, and offer to defend someones beliefs if a girl wore an item that was based on their religion....say a burka? Or would her support stop at the Christian faith?

      October 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  9. magdaleine

    If that girl is Catholic, she should know that rosaries aren't meant to be worn as necklaces, they are prayer beads. Granted, the school is thinking of her safety first in lieu of the situation at hand I can understand, but at the same time, there is no excuse for anyone to use a Christian symbol as a sign for something violent.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Jye75

      Actually, it's fine to wear around your neck as long as you are wearing it with reverance and not just as a piece of jewelry.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Dan

      Nuns wear there Rosaries outside of their habits all the time

      October 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Ohio Paul

      Dan and JYE75...nuns and lay people ware rosaries in church only. Not to go to Middle School...knowing it is against the rules that everyone else has to abide by.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jye75

      Ohio Paul – It's not against any REAL rules, and is accepted by many other Catholics. Besides, even if your point had merit, I know quite a few Catholics, and none of them follow all of the "rules".

      October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  10. Liese

    Not a surprise – in 1994, my daughter was in the 7th grade in N Richland Hills TX – I had to go pick her up from school because she had worn a red t-shirt with a black and white happy face drawing on it, and a red and black beaded necklace her best friend had made her to match – all because red and black were local gang colors – insane –

    October 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • claybigsby

      you wouldnt find is very insane when you found out your daughter was shot in the head because gangs thought she was a rival gang member.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  11. fgh369

    She was not wearing a rosery, she was wearing a cross necklace. They banned her from wearing her cross, because, I am assuming, crosses are on roseries, and the rosery has become a gang symbol.

    Excuse me?? where in alll of creation does this make sense?

    October 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Dave D

    So if a gang starts wearing the American flag the school would forbid flags...? How about we all spend more time working on the social/economic problems that cause gangs to flourish and less time trying to hide gangs exist?

    October 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Antsache

      Banning gang colors and signs in schools does actually help. It may not eliminate gang presence, but it goes a long way toward helping students feel safe. When you've got a kid that is clearly identifying themselves as a gang member, it's intimidating and distracting to others. It can also lead to unprovoked incidents between gangs when their members are so easily identified. Schools can't do much to keep kids from joining gangs outside their walls, but it's their duty to do whatever they can to facilitate learning for the kids when they're in session. Regardless of whether it addresses the issue of gangs existing, if any simple step like this can be taken to reduce their impact in the schools, it's a good idea.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Dave D

      No, it's a bad idea. If you are concerned about what children wear to school then require all students to wear uniforms. Having administrators running around deciding what is prohibited or not is a waste of time and money. It also eliminates all religious/free speech questions.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  13. Michelle

    I have sons that wear crosses. One is spiritual and the other merely wears as a fashion statement. They buy them in different styles, colors, material. We live in a large metropolitan area. It is self-expression for these teens, that previously wore school uniforms daily. Schools need to concentrate on our failing education system and improving their educators, not policing jewelry.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ohio Paul

      Michelle, and would your thoughts on this change if your son got stabbed in the lunch room and died...and then found out that it could have been prvented by putting a simple rule in place not to wear them and the school did nothing?

      October 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • sam

      They should never be worn as fashion statements – your son is probably going to hell.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • claybigsby

      same STFU and stop the fear mongering...its getting quite old from Christians. QUITE OLD.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  14. LarryMoniz

    I'm not crazy about religious symbols as jewelry, but I'll defend someone else's right to make a statement about their religion. Maybe administrators should be more concerned about educating students than providing a safe environment. Safe for whom, the teachers? Kids have been getting into fights for centuries. If the teachers want to feel safer, let them take weapons handling courses and start packing handguns.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Uncouth Swain

    One thing I do notice from this article is the lack of information from the school. What are their sources for this gang stuff? If a parent would ask for them, would they give them?

    October 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  16. Miko

    "I don't think Christians should have to forfeit what is the symbol for the love of Christ because a few people want to misuse that symbol," Archdiocese Chancellor Rev. Joseph Taphorn.

    So, does this mean the swastika is allowed back into use? By his logic it should be. If it is a gang symbol now, it needs to go back to being what it was intended for... prayer, not jewelry. I was taught that one shouldn't wear it as a necklace.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jye75

      Do a little research into the swastika and you'll see that it is indeed in widespread use still, and it does not have the stigma that you associate it with. Just because the Nazi's turned it into a negative thing, doesn't mean it's lost to the rest of the world.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Lee

      Are you kidding me? You're comparing a swastika to rosary beads? Do you know what a swastika is?

      October 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • melvinslizard

      The swastika was originally a symbol for eternity, not for the National Socialist party.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  17. Doc Brittle

    I'm an agnostic and believe that the Catholic faith is so full of crap however, she has every right to wear that rosary beads if her faith demands it.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Statistics

      Her 'faith' does not demand it. She is an air-headed 12 year-old.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • vtskivt

      I would say she is a child that is devoted to God, what is your problem dude. Mind your own business.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • UncleM

      A child devoted to an non-exsitent god is a sad thing.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Antsache

      The POINT here is that, since we have laws designed specifically to prevent public schools from discriminating against students based on religious beliefs, they have to treat everyone and their religious symbols equally. In other words, they have to give no special treatment to them, regardless of the particular faith they represent. A rosary or cross necklace, regardless of why it's worn, is just another article of clothing to the school, and that's how it should be. The school can't take student beliefs into account on the issue. This is precisely why it remains acceptable to wear whatever you want so long as it's concealed.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  18. JamesX

    Pretty sure Buddhists children won't be allowed to wear Swastikas in school due to the Nazi's usurpation of it. Why doesn't people get upset about that? In this case a Gang usurped the Rosary as their own symbol. In the case of Swastikas a national murderous gang usurped the symbol for their own. What makes rosary more special than another religion's symbol?

    October 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Thank you!

      October 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Frankly, comparing a local street gang to Nazi Germany is like comparing a co.ckroach to Godzilla.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • AllisonTX

      Absolutely agree.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  19. Glades2

    This reminds me of the problems the deaf are having when it comes to American Sign Language being confused with gang signs – but, as in that case, it should not be allowed to become a victim to gang culture...

    October 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Haley W

    A rosary isn't jewelry and shouldn't be worn as such. Especially if it's reflecting a gang symbol in that area. I understand it violates her freedom of expression however, she shouldn't wear it. Public schools crack down on anything that is deemed offensive.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Public schools crack down on anything that is deemed offensive.

      Ok, tomorrow a student wears a shirt that has a pro-military image or maybe a picture of President Obama....in the class is a student with relatives who recently died in a drone attack in Pakistan. The student's parents approach the school and say that such outfits they feel are offensive ..... does the school ban those as well?

      October 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Mark,
      I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they did.

      Public schools are trying their hardest to keep everything as non-offensive as possible so children can have a good learning environment. And if there was a gang going around the city using rosaries as their symbol then I would have probably felt a little on edge if someone was wearing one sitting beside me in a class.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"And if there was a gang going around the city using rosaries as their symbol then I would have probably felt a little on edge if someone was wearing one sitting beside me in a class."

      In the grade school years? The problem is then when does it stop? If the gangs chose the "Hello Kitty" image as their new symbol:


      Will the next thing to be seen as offensive are all symbols of Hello Kitty? Who is in charge, the schools or the gangs?

      October 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Hypatia

      Could you try just once, to use the inside of your head? Obviously you don't have a lot of practice. Oh, that's right. You're a bigot.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      It all has to do with where you live. When I went to school in NC there were gangs that would always wear one pant leg up to their knee so we couldn't do that in school. This didn't apply to the whole state, just around where I lived. So it's not like everything needs to be banned, just what the gangs around your area are useing to identify themselves with. And it stops when that gang isn't around anymore.

      It sucks that they take an image like the cross or hello kitty, but if it really bothers you that much, move a city or two over. They'll probably have different dress codes. It's only for a few years, I'm sure she will get over it.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Melissa

      Mark – they would ban the image. It's nothing new. Talk to kids who grew up in the late 1980s/early 1990s who had silly t-shirts featuring Bart Simpson banned from school. I went to a school district which sent home flyers requesting our parents never have us watch Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons because they were too "violent." And that's in the late 1970s.

      This type of banning is absolutely nothing new. Silly? yes. But nothing new.

      She can wear a different type of cross necklace – one that is quiet and not ostentatious. This girl (and a whole lot of Christians) need to re-read and reflect on Matthew 6:5-7.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Liutgard

      If you need to wear a necklace or a tshirt to show your faith, then there's something wrong with your faith.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • @Hypatia

      What orifice did you pull that out of?

      October 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • True Story

      @Mark, yes they most likely would ban it. Most public schools attempt to make their environments as peaceful as necessary. If they really felt it was a problem many schools would in turn consider uniforms or make an announcement that political clothing would not be worn. It's sad, but it's true. School is becoming less about education and more about not offending people and socializing. <– Sad yet, true story.

      October 7, 2011 at 9:07 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.