Shock After Teacher Removes Student's Cross Necklace: 'Keep Your Hands Away from Our Kids' Crosses'
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The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is celebrating a big win after a Tennessee middle school teacher apologized for confiscating a student's cross necklace.
In April, a Hixson Middle School student wore a cross around his neck to school. But when he entered the school library for the book fair he was greeted by a teacher who took his cross.
"That alone would be startling enough to any kid, but this educator did so in front of numerous other students as if to add to the child's humiliation," wrote Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of the ACLJ.
The ACLJ was notified by the student's mother and the religious rights group immediately sent a legal letter to the school explaining why the teacher's actions violated the student's constitutional rights.
"Students may display religious messages on items of clothing to the same extent that they are permitted to display other comparable messages. Religious messages may not be singled out for suppression, but rather are subject to the same rules as generally apply to comparable messages," reads the letter.
Sekulow explained, "In other words, unless every other student in the school is decked out in clothing devoid of logos, quotes, product placements, or any other messaging or imagery in general that might possibly be offensive to someone, keep your hands away from our kids' crosses or any other item of clothing or accessories."
"Had the teacher singled out a Muslim student or a child of any other faith – even an atheist student – odds are there would be a media uproar and protests outside the school," he continued.
The school reached out to the ACLJ to assure them that neither the school dress code nor their policy would prohibit the student from wearing the cross.
The teacher, the school's vice principal, and the superintendent apologized to the student and his mother for confiscating the cross.
"One thing that is not only permissible but also protected is wearing a cross around your neck," Sekulow shared. "Hopefully, this victory serves as an encouragement to students of faith and a strong message to educators who would otherwise seek to inflict their personal bias on Christian students."
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