The Nebraska ACLU is siding with a sixth-grade girl who said that her religious beliefs have been compromised because the Fremont Public School District won't let her go to class wearing a necklace that resembles a rosary.
The Fremont Middle School student said recently that the policy infringes on her rights to express her religious beliefs.
Fremont Superintendent Steve Sexton said the policy is for student safety. He said school officials have received information from police that the rosary is being used as a symbol of gang affiliation.
Amy Miller, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, said Monday that the ban raises “serious concerns” about children's religious liberty.
“Students have the right to express their faith in public schools,” Miller said. “Whether a student wants to wear a crucifix, a rosary or another symbol, it is wrong for school officials to interfere.
“We understand the serious concerns about gangs in schools, but Fremont Public Schools should demonstrate there is a concrete gang connection before shutting down a student's free speech and religious rights.”
This article includes information from the Associated Press.
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