Rosary beads a gang symbol?

Filed under: Teens, In The News, Day Care & Education, Religion & Spirituality

For those of the Catholic faith, rosary beads are a traditional way to keep track of one's prayers. A sort of spiritual abacus. But according to police in Dallas, Texas, local gang members have taken to wearing the religious jewelry as well. This has led at least one high school to add rosary beads to the "do not wear" list.

The ban on rosaries at Seagoville High School came as a surprise to student Tabitha Ruiz. When she showed up at school last week wearing a silver and ruby rosary given to her by her mother, security guards told her to take it off. When she showed up again on Monday wearing the beads, she was again told to remove them.

"I went to school, walked through the metal detectors and they told me to take it off," Ruiz said. "I asked them why and they said because it's gang-related."

Rosaries are not actually banned in the official dress code of the Dallas Independent School District, but school principals are allowed to make that decision for their schools if they feel it is necessary. Ruiz' mom, Taire Ferguson, does not think it is necessary and vows to take the district to court.

You know, I can see banning bandannas, baggy pants and other items that have no significance other than to denote a gang affiliation. But rosary beads? They have been a part of the Catholic faith for hundreds of years and wearing them should not be the right of gang members only.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.