November 3, 2010
by Bill Bumpas - OneNewsNow
Listen to the report here.
It's being called a "compelling victory for the First Amendment rights of students."
controversy involving a New York middle-school student who was punished for wearing a
rosary is officially over. A New York school district -- which had claimed the rosary
was a gang symbol -- has agreed to pay nearly $25,000 in damages, legal fees, and costs
to now-eighth-grader Raymond Hosier.
A student at Oneida Middle School in Schenectady last year, Hosier had been suspended indefinitely in May for violating a dress code policy that banned the wearing of a rosary to school.
The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) filed a lawsuit on the youngster's behalf, and a court issued an injunction allowing him to return to school for the remainder of the year without fear of further punishment. Now a judge has approved the settlement, ending the case. ACLJ attorney Ed White spoke to OneNewsNow.
"And this is a few weeks after the school district has already changed its policy which prohibited rosaries from being worn to school," White explains. "So now all students in that school district can wear rosaries for religious reasons to school, so we view this as a total victory. We've changed the policy so all people can now express their religious faith, and our client has been compensated for the harm that befell him."
And there is more, says the attorney. "And we're also happy that the boy's record has been expunged because there were a lot of suspension notices, etc., put into his permanent record mainly and only because he was wearing a religious object to school."
Hosier is now attending school in a nearby district.