From today's Chron:
Texas student allowed to wear Christian crucifix
DALLAS - A North Texas high school student whose family practices a Christian religion won the right Wednesday to wear her crucifix necklace in full view after appealing to the district superintendent.
Waxahachie High School freshman Rebecca Moreno, suspended for wearing the jewelry, had been forced to wear it hidden under her blouse in order to return to class.
In a letter to Moreno, 15, and her family, Waxahachie public school Superintendent Bobby Parker said that the district's policy protects all faiths.
He also said he would recommend that the school board review the district's dress code to make sure religious expression or free speech is not restricted.
"While the Christian faith may not be the majority religion in our community, our board policies protect all faiths," Parker wrote the Moreno family.
Michael Linz, an attorney hired by the American Civil Liberties Union in Dallas to represent the family, praised the decision.
"The superintendent's opinion is what I had hoped for," Linz told The Dallas Morning News for its Wednesday editions.
The teen was twice suspended from Waxahachie High for wearing the crucifix, a cross depicting the execution of the Christian god, because school officials said she violated school policy.
The policy classifies jewelry that features the crucifix, swastika and drug-oriented symbols as potentially disruptive to the educational environment.
Last week, school officials softened their position and let Rebecca was to return classes if she agreed to wear the crucifix inside her clothing.
But the Morenos, who practice Christianity, say the crucifix is an important symbol in their religion and not allowing students to wear it in full view violates their First Amendment rights.
School officials said they never banned the crucifix on religious grounds. They said the symbol was banned in 1997 because it became associated with animal sacrifice and devil worship.
"The result was a distraction and disruption at school," Parker wrote.
Parker said Rebecca can continue to wear her necklace "so long as it does not cause a disruption in the educational environment."
Laura Moreno, Rebecca's mother, said she doesn't see that happening.
"I don't think it will be a distraction to anybody," she said. "Rebecca is excited and relieved that this is over."