Fort Bend Independent School District officials in Texas are serious about curtailing gang activity. So serious, in fact, that an 8th grade student at Hodges Bend Middle School was suspended for wearing her rosary beads that reminded her of the love her late grandmother had for her.
Jonae Devlin, 14, was given a choice by the principal -- take the beads off or be suspended. She answered, Â“You might as well suspend me.Â” The student dress code prohibits openly wearing a rosary because it can be interpreted as a sign of gang involvement. Jonae and her mother, Sherell Johnson said they did not know of the policy, but school officials insist they held a series of seminars about the dress code at the beginning of the school year, and are standing by their decision.
One wonders if other things that might be associated with gangs are prohibited. Are piercings included? Baggy pants? Tattoos? Even in a middle school, a kid might wear a hooded sweatshirt. Do certain Â“colorsÂ” count?
HoustonÂ’s KHOU reports that some gang experts have associated the rosary with gang activity, but as Jonae says, Â“Everyone who wears a rosary is not in a gang.Â”Â The young lady has a point.