Search  |  Login  |  Register

By Jay Sekulow1307651577000

It's an important First Amendment victory.

 

You will remember this case.  We went to federal court on behalf of a student in New York who was indefinitely suspended for wearing a Rosary to school.  The school district claimed the wearing of the Rosary was not permitted because it represented a gang-related symbol.

As you know, we filed a federal lawsuit immediately.  And, we secured a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the court to ensure that our client, Raymond Hosier, could return to school and finish out the school year wearing the Rosary.

Now, the Schenectady school district has voted to change this troubling policy.  They have amended it and removed the discriminatory language.

This policy change represents a critical victory for religious freedom as well as our client and all students in the school district.  It's clear that our lawsuit resulted in an important change of school policy.  It's our view that this discriminatory policy violated our client's constitutionally-protected rights of free speech and free exercise of religion. 

We filed a federal lawsuit in June on behalf of Raymond and his mother, Chantell.  In the complaint, we outlined the fact that Raymond wears the Rosary to express his faith in God and honor the memory of a deceased uncle and a brother who died with that very same Rosary in his hand. 

The complaint also asserted that Raymond is not a member of any criminal gang and does not wear his Rosary to promote gang membership or violence.  In our filing, we also noted that Raymond has been wearing the Rosary since September 2009 without causing "any disruption to the school environment." 

We then filed an amended complaint alleging that the defendants retaliated against Raymond for filing his original lawsuit to secure his constitutional rights.  That is posted here.

While this is an important development, and removing the discriminatory policy is a First Amendment victory, this action does not bring an end to our lawsuit. 

We stand ready to resolve the remaining issues - liability and damages - either outside or inside the courtroom.

We will now request that the federal district court cancel the preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for September 8th because of the amended policy and the fact that the student, Raymond Hosier, is attending school in a different school district this year. 

No Respect for Religious Censorship

By David French1412873764926

The brazen intellectual bankruptcy of campus censorship never fails to impress. Yesterday, the Chronicle of Higher Education was the latest prestige publication to cover the California State University system’s mass-scale de-recognition of so-called “exclusionary” Christian groups. And how, pray...

read more

Justice Restored for Little Girl

By CeCe Heil1398795003000

We recently assisted a mother and her daughter in Tucson, Arizona, who requested our assistance when the daughter was told that she could no longer bring her Bible to school. The daughter had been bringing her Bible to school to read and to discuss with other students during her free time. Some...

read more

Sad Power Of An Atheist’s Temper Tantrum

By Jay Sekulow1398197847000

Angry atheists are at it again. This week, they’re taking on Dabo Swinney, head coach of the Clemson Tigers. His alleged unlawful conduct? Expressing his Christian faith and allegedly making a number of voluntary religious activities available to his players -- the adult student-athletes at...

read more

Student Denied Admission for His Faith

By ACLJ.org1398196897000

Late yesterday afternoon, ACLJ filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins against officials of The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Maryland for denying Brandon admission to its Radiation Therapy Program in part due to his expression of religious beliefs. As one faculty member...

read more