Christian Gang Insignia

H/T: Khou.com, Houston, Texas (here)

8th grader suspended after wearing rosary to school

HOUSTON — A middle school student believes the Fort Bend Independent School District has violated her rights, and now she wants an apology.
Jonae Devlin, 14, was suspended from Hodges Bend Middle School after wearing a rosary to the school.

“I never get in any trouble like this,” said the 8th grader. Devlin said she wore the rosary because it reminds her of her late grandmother who was a practicing Catholic. “It reminds me of all the love she had for me,” Devlin said. Devlin said the principal ordered her to remove the rosary just before the winter break. “

She said, ‘I’m going to give you the choice to take it off or be suspended,’ and I said, ‘You might as well suspend me,’” Devlin told us.

“I’m angry because of the way they’re treating students,” said Sherell Johnson, Devlin’s mom.

According to the district’s student dress code, openly wearing a rosary violates school policy.Some gang experts have associated the rosary with gang activity.

“The rosary can be a sign of gang involvement,” said Victor Gonzales, the Director of the Houston mayor’s Anti-Gang Task Force. “Schools are just worried about safety.”

Both Devlin and her mom claimed they had no idea about the policy.

FBISD officials insist the dress code was spelled out to both parents and children during a series of seminars at the beginning of the school year.

District officials said they stood by the decision to discipline Devlin.

But Devlin doesn’t think it was fair.

“Everyone who wears a rosary is not in a gang,” she said.

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6 thoughts on “Christian Gang Insignia

  1. It just isn’t acceptable Roman Catholic practice to wear rosaries. It’s okay to carry one, but not wear one even if it does belong to a loved one.
    Seeing as gang activity is common in Texas as is gang members wearing rosaries, it’s difficult to believe that the parent was completely in the dark about this unless she was new to the area.
    This is about misguided disobedience, and they owe the administrators an apology.

  2. Many years ago I was at a symposium on “Youth and the church” and a sociology professor had been asked to speak. He said that the church could play an important role in helping youth to adjust to the demands and values and mores of society.

    I asked him what if society’s values were wrong, and the youth were revolting against them. He got very emphatic, and said “Youth must adjust!” I almost expected him to throw up his right arm in a Nazi salute.

  3. Prayer ropes have become the “in” thing in Serbia after the fall of communism. Some people tend to get the bigger ones and wear them as a necklace.

    Then there was someone years ago who told me that he wanted to buy one but he knew the tradition was that you can’t buy it, it has to be given to you by someone. Perhaps someone somewhere down the road had told someone that a spiritual father had told him that one is to receive a blessing to wear a prayer rope and can’t just pick it up and start using it. And somehow from there sprang the so-called tradition of not being able to buy it yourself….

  4. Yes, Matthew, you’re right. I had the same thoughts.
    The other thing is, it’s not even an issue of religion, but one of personal sentimentality. Unless it’s hanging from a monk or nun’s belt, I don’t think there’s any other way to sport a Catholic rosary. When I was in college (40 years ago) very cool unbelievers started wearing Catholic rosaries around their necks just as they wore other hippie beads, and I guess the fad is still with us. When I was a Polish Catholic boy growing up in inner city Chicago, had I worn my black bead rosary around my neck, I’d have been laughed to scorn and asked, “Are you a goat, or what?”

  5. Well, if in fact parents and students received this info then the school was within its rights to enforce policy. HOWEVER! It is stupid to to lump all who wear a rosary into the same category. She should have had it under her blouse or top instead of flaunting it, if that is what she was doing.
    Our society is on the downward slide into the abyss so why should this surprise anyone as a supposed preventative to the slide.
    What they are teaching in public schools (and many religious/private schools) is more harmful than wearing a rosary.
    LORD Have Mercy!

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