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  1. #1
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    School Suspends Teens For Wearing Crucifixes

    It's a sad day when your love for Christ gets you accused of being in a gang.


    ALBANY, Ore. ó A pair of Albany teenagers suspended for "gang-related behavior" because they were wearing crucifixes say they were only wearing gifts from their mothers.
    Jaime Salazar, 14, his friend Marco Castro, 16, were suspended from South Albany High School recently after they refused to put away the crucifixes they were wearing around their necks.
    Salazar said Principal Chris Equinoa saw his necklace and told him to put it away. "I was like, why?" Salazar said. "He says it's related to gangs."
    Salazar said he argued and was sent to the office. Instead, he went home. Later, he received a note saying he had been suspended for five days for "defiance and gang-related behavior."
    Castro, a junior, was suspended for three days after refusing to take off a string of milky rosary beads, with a crucifix and a tiny picture of the Virgin Mary, that he was wearing around his neck. His mother gave it to him, he said.
    Equinoa said religious items are not banned. But, as principal, he reserves the right to ask a student to remove, or cover up, any item he feels could indicate gang affiliation even a crucifix.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,332333,00.html

  2. #2
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    Wish there would have been a picture of the crucifixes with the article. I wonder if they were the big, gold gaudy ones? That might would explain why the principal reacted the way he did. It doesn't make it okay, but somewhat understandable.

  3. #3
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    I could be reaching here, but it's possible this principal knows something we don't and that these students are using the crucifixes as their gang symbol and then turning around and calling it religious right.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    I could be reaching here, but it's possible this principal knows something we don't and that these students are using the crucifixes as their gang symbol and then turning around and calling it religious right.
    GOOD QUESTION....

  5. #5
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    reading the whole articalshed a little light for me. police said in other towns they had seen kids wearing their gang colors on a religous symbol. the had not seen it in this town yet but police gave a class warning the schools that it might come to there area. they did not tell the kids about the warning.
    But Albany police say fellow officers in Salem and Hillsboro have been contending with crucifixes and rosaries as gang markers for the past several years. Their appearance at South could be an indication that the markers are moving in, said Officer Ken Fandrem, who leads a gang task force that meets monthly.
    "They put their gang colors on the rosaries and claim they're religious," Fandrem said. "This is the first time I've dealt with it [here]."
    Equinoa said Fandrem led a training in October on gang identifiers for staff members from South Albany, Calapooia Middle School and the alternative Albany Options School. Religious items were among the possible markers mentioned.
    Students specifically weren't told about the markers "because they morph," Equinoa said. "You can never get a solid target."
    i have no idea if this was a gang symbol and i doubt the principal did either.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    I could be reaching here, but it's possible this principal knows something we don't and that these students are using the crucifixes as their gang symbol and then turning around and calling it religious right.
    That's instantly what I thought. I wear a cross myself but I absolutely think it's the school's right to ask to cover up IF it is a gang symbol.

  7. #7
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    I'm really confused by this one. What if they were all wearing butterfly charms? How do you differentiate what exactly is a gang symbols? There had to be a better way to handle this one.

  8. #8
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    Here's a picture of the boys with their Crucifixes. I do want to point out that a Rosary is NOT jewelry and should NEVER be worn as such.

    http://www.dhonline.com/articles/200...aa01_cross.txt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    I'm really confused by this one. What if they were all wearing butterfly charms? How do you differentiate what exactly is a gang symbols? There had to be a better way to handle this one.
    From what I remember about my highschool days, my principal got alot of info from other students.

    I'm not saying this is what happened, but it's possible he asked some of their peers what the crosses meant and one of the students said it could have been a gang symbol.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    Here's a picture of the boys with their Crucifixes. I do want to point out that a Rosary is NOT jewelry and should NEVER be worn as such.

    http://www.dhonline.com/articles/200...aa01_cross.txt
    That's what I thought. I have a friend who always carries his rosary, but it's in a little case in his pocket. In general, I believe that Catholics are the main religious group to wear crucifixes. Most others just wear the cross. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

    Also, I noticed from the link the pale blue colors on the crucifix and rosary beads. Could this be the "gang colors"?


  11. #11
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    From WhiteRain's link:
    Salazar said Equinoa saw the necklace and told him to put it away. “I was like, why?” he recalled. “He says it’s related to gangs.”

    Salazar said he argued and was sent to the office. Instead, he went home. Later, he received a note saying he had been suspended for five days for “defiance and gang-related behavior.”
    If the boys are telling the truth, I find their school suspension's a shame and disgrace.
    BUT if there's a chance and more importantly proof that the crosses could be gang related, the principal acted in the correct precautionary manner.
    (Although I have to say those 2 don't look anything like the gang kids here.)

  12. #12
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    KOOL LOOK is offline ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal, "Love" is my Vengence
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    Those in authority making these decisions sure better hope their right. They'll be those hanging from a cross in Hell who crusified and persecuted many while on this earth. The vision that causes me to tremble is knowing they'll be hanging upside down for eternity, now that's justice for no one will be right side up on the cross they so hated. Really makes sense, for those who persecute and crusify.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarnGoddess View Post
    That's what I thought. I have a friend who always carries his rosary, but it's in a little case in his pocket. In general, I believe that Catholics are the main religious group to wear crucifixes. Most others just wear the cross. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

    Also, I noticed from the link the pale blue colors on the crucifix and rosary beads. Could this be the "gang colors"?
    The colors normally are really meaningless, but colors are important to gang members. Since the picture showed one as baby blue and the other as white, I can't see the link to a gang. Also, the boy with the pitiful puppy-dog face has a necklace, not a rosary. It does appear after reading the article that it is indeed a matter of his faith that he wears his crucifix. The other boy admits he's not particularly religious and I'm uncomfortable with him wearing a rosary.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    The colors normally are really meaningless, but colors are important to gang members. Since the picture showed one as baby blue and the other as white, I can't see the link to a gang. Also, the boy with the pitiful puppy-dog face has a necklace, not a rosary. It does appear after reading the article that it is indeed a matter of his faith that he wears his crucifix. The other boy admits he's not particularly religious and I'm uncomfortable with him wearing a rosary.
    I would think the onus is on the principal to prove the colors are gang related. O/W this is a restriction of practice of religion:

    Amendment 1

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


    Crypto6

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    The colors normally are really meaningless, but colors are important to gang members. Since the picture showed one as baby blue and the other as white, I can't see the link to a gang. Also, the boy with the pitiful puppy-dog face has a necklace, not a rosary. It does appear after reading the article that it is indeed a matter of his faith that he wears his crucifix. The other boy admits he's not particularly religious and I'm uncomfortable with him wearing a rosary.
    I did notice one part of the rosary had a blue theme, in the square. My friend's rosary has black beads.

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