September 12, 2002
That freedom of religion thing

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."

OK, that's not quite what the article said. Go read it for yourself. I just wanted to make sure everyone understood what the fuss is about.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 12, 2002 to The great state of Texas

I needed that laugh. Thanks, Chuck.

Posted by: Ginger on September 12, 2002 2:17 PM

Sneaky. I like. :)

Posted by: Kevin Whited on September 12, 2002 3:14 PM

Fantastic! I love it!

Posted by: Lynn on September 13, 2002 12:21 PM

And yet again, the Chuckster demonstrates why I worship the ground he blogs on. Fabulously done.

Posted by: Amy on September 13, 2002 1:21 PM

This has actually happened with the crucifix, by the way. I recall an instance when gang members started wearing rosary beads to identify themselves, and so the school banned them. A student (not a gang member) refused to stop wearing his, and was sent home.

Paranoid schools will do virtually anything to enforce blanket regulations against supposedly distruptive attire, so I think that's the real issue here, not religious bigotry. Still, the actions of school districts in this regard are no less stupid, the motivations are simply different.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on September 13, 2002 1:36 PM

Here's a link on the case I mentioned above, just in case you'd never heard of it:

New Caney, TX – Two students at New Caney High School were prohibited from wearing rosary beads in school, with teachers instructed to send the boys to the principal’s office if they were caught wearing the beads outside their shirts. "The actual wearing of rosary beads around the neck is identified as gang apparel," said New Caney High School principal Toby York. The Rutherford Institute intervened to provide legal representation for the students, and in October a federal district court ordered the school to permit the boys to wear their rosary beads.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on September 13, 2002 1:54 PM

and by (for the moment) being diamond jewelry in a rather dull job that requires jewelryinolog me to be on the computer continuously, jewelry I've decided to give the online religious jewelry journaling bit a whirl. At some christian jewelry point I may excerpt the lot of dog jewelry this and transplant it into a silver jewelry proper web log, once the site gold jewelry B.   B.   myself have been discussing man

actually comes into fruition. In the meantime - and this is

Posted by: jewelry store on October 12, 2003 4:12 PM