|Written by APB Staff|
According to local news reports out of Texas, a teenage high school student claims she is forbidden from wearing a rosary around her neck in school because the Catholic prayer beads are a gang symbol, MyFOXDFW.com has reported.
Tabitha Ruiz was stopped by security guards at Seagoville High School in Dallas recently and told to take off the silver and ruby beaded rosary. The religious necklace was a gift from her mother.
"I went to school, walked through the metal detectors and they told me to take it off," the teen told FOX News. "I asked them why and they said because it's gang-related."
Ruiz and her mother, Taire Ferguson, said they had no idea that rosary beads were a gang symbol. Police, however, say that the necklace is rapidly becoming a gang favorite- and not the only such item.
"Lately they’ve been seen wearing religious jewelry such as the rosary worn by gang members, so it is a factor," Sr. Cpl Kevin Janse of the Dallas Police Department told the FOX affiliate.
Rosaries are not specifically banned in area schools, a spokesman for the Dallas Independent School District said. Whether or not to allow students to wear rosaries is up to the principal.
Ruiz and her mother have vowed to take the district to court if necessary.The day after she was told she couldn’t wear the rosary she showed up with it around her neck.