- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A New York boy can wear his rosary beads to school — for now.

A federal judge has granted a request by lawyers for Raymond Hosier for a temporary restraining order that allows the 13-year-old boy to return to school after having been suspended indefinitely last month.

Ed White, a senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, told The Washington Times about the judge’s decision Tuesday afternoon to void the school district’s suspension and allow Raymond to attend classes wearing his rosary as he sees fit.

The ACLJ also filed papers Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York suing the Schenectady City School District.

According to the ACLJ, Raymond was sent home from Oneida Middle School on May 17 for wearing the beads, which the school dress code terms as “gang-related material.” He was indefinitely suspended May 19 when he again wore the rosary beads to school. 

Raymond had been told he could wear the beads, which he wears in honor of a deceased brother and uncle, only if he kept them under his clothing.

The ACLJ has filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York, saying that the school district’s refusal to allow the boy to wear the beads is an unconstitutional denial of the rights to speech and free exercise of religion, and also that the dress code is “unconstitutionally vague.”

The first hearing will take place June 11.

• Michal Elseth can be reached at melseth@washingtontimes.com.

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