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Teen Faces Suspension over Rosary Beads

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ABC: 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.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Annie February 16, 2010, 5:34 PM

Another proud Catholic here. I do think the principal was extreme - but, have to ask what a 14 year old is doing wearing the beads in the first place? They are a prayer aid - to be used when saying the Rosary. They’re not supposed to be ‘worn’ at all - they’re not jewelry!

egene February 16, 2010, 6:16 PM

Obviously the school exercised its authority based on little more than an over zealous principal wrongfully expelling an above average student. If gang problems exist in the area, the members of the gangs should be targeted, by having their parents targeted to put an end to their activities if they are illegal. Common sense seems to have lost out in America and sadly with ACLU influence greater harm and loss of individual rights will result.


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