SYRACUSE, N.Y. (RNS) — A federal judge on June 9 approved a lawyers’ agreement allowing a Schenectady, N.Y., student to continue wearing a rosary outside his clothing pending a court hearing in September.
Syracuse lawyer Raymond Dague said the new court oversight was sought after school officials forced 13-year-old Raymond Hosier into two days of detention last week after an earlier court order returning the boy to school.
Hosier, a seventh-grade student at Oneida Middle School, was suspended last month after school officials decided he was violating the school’s gang-related clothing ban by wearing the rosary beads outside his shirt at school.
The boy contends he wears the rosary as a sign of his Christian faith and in memory of his deceased brother and uncle.
Dague said Albany-based U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn agreed to postpone a hearing in the case until Sept. 8 in order to give the two sides time to try and resolve the dispute over the summer.
Dague said there could be a change in position on the other side as a new school board is scheduled to take office July 1. He also said a new lawyer is now handling the case for the school district.
Hosier has been wearing the rosary to school since September but was warned May 17 it was considered gang-related because it was made of beads. The youth was suspended indefinitely when he returned to school wearing the rosary.
Dague filed a lawsuit on the youth’s behalf June 1. Within hours, Kahn signed an order returning the boy to school pending a June 11 hearing.
Dague said the school responded to Hosier’s return to school by placing him in lunch-time detention the next two days. School officials claimed the detention was for some other matter but were unable to spell out exactly what that was, the lawyer said.
The order Kahn signed on June 9, giving the lawyers more time to try and work out a resolution, bars the school from imposing any discipline, including detention, as a result of Hosier wearing the rosary to school.
Kahn’s new order runs through Sept. 10.
— Jim O’Hara / The Post-Standard
© 2010 Religion News Service. Used with permission.
Posted June 14, 2010