Defending Student Suspended for Wearing Rosary | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

By Jay Sekulow1307661334000

I want you to know about a critically important case that we have just taken in New York State.

It involves a 7th grade student who was suspended by school officials for wearing a Rosary to school.  We represent Chantell Hosier, and her 13-year-old son, Raymond, who attends Oneida Middle School in Schenectady.  He was supended for two-days last week after school officials ordered him to remove the Rosary.  Raymond did not take off the Rosary.  He says it brings him comfort and honors the memory of his deceased older brother and uncle. 

School officials defended the disciplinary action by saying that wearing the Rosary violated school policy.  A school district spokesperson told a local newspaper that the rosary beads "could be an identifier of gangs" and needed to be removed "for safety reasons."

First of all, to equate a Rosary to a gang symbol is not only wrong, but deeply offensive.  The action taken by this school district - suspending the student for wearing a religious artifact - is insulting and inappropriate.

The Supreme Court has been very clear that students do not surrender their constitutional rights to religious expression when they go to school.

When Raymond returned to school this morning, wearing the Rosary, he was suspended again.  I have instructed a legal team to prepare a federal lawsuit to protect the constitutional rights of our client.

We have sent a Demand Letter to the school district letting them know that the disciplinary action they took against Raymond violates his First Amendment rights.  You can read our Demand Letter here.

The fact is that Raymond has been wearing that Rosary since 2009 without incident until last week when school officials told him to remove it because it violated the dress code.

What's clear to us is that the school in this instance is arbitrarily using the vague dress code to silence Raymond's religious message.  That's unacceptable.

We'll bring you additional developments as they become available. 

Religious Freedoms Must Be Protected

By Jay Sekulow1461973535772

It began in 2013 when Marine Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling – a devout Christian – wanted to express her religious beliefs in the workplace where she was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She quickly ran into trouble when she refused to obey an order from a superior to remove three signs at...

read more

Obama Admin. Targets Religious Liberty

By Geoffrey Surtees1461616313835

The ongoing legal challenge by religious organizations against the Obama Administration’s abortion-pill Mandate and its so-called “accommodation” for complying with that Mandate has taken some unexpected turns. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments just one month ago, and one week after those...

read more

Atheists Attack Veterans Bible Displays

By ACLJ.org1461158189501

Angry atheist Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is once again attacking our service members’ religious freedoms. MRFF is an anti-Christian organization known for its hostile attacks on our Christian service men and women. This time Weinstein and MRFF’s latest...

read more

Hopeful Signal In Little Sisters Case

By Francis J. Manion1459286514960

In the most closely watched religious liberty case of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court today dropped a major hint that it might not be content to let the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia result in a 4 – 4 deadlock that would force the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious entities...

read more