Students at N.M. high school must conceal rosaries

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque high school is requiring students who wear rosaries to conceal them in an effort to curb gang activity.

The revised school dress code at Atrisco Heritage Academy high school prompted rumors among students who thought the school was banning rosaries outright.

Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta says students wearing visible rosaries are being asked to conceal them under their clothes. She says the policy is intended to prevent students from identifying themselves as members of specific groups.

Peter Simonson of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Albuquerque Journal that if a rosary is being worn for strictly personal or religious reasons, then confiscating it would violate a student’s freedom of speech and religion.

Students and parents interviewed by the Journal were split on the policy.

Also see: Rosaries, gangs and the battle over religious symbols in schools

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