Crucifix and Gangs

I was told of this by my boss

Seattle News Story

as pathetic gangs are, this is a new low

Oh, Lord!

Being from Southern California, I can attest that some gang members do indeed use Catholic religious imagery. Many have Jesus and crucifix tattoos. Usually you can tell they are gang tattoos by the fact that they are one color and badly done. The homies don’t usually have the state of the art tattoo equipment, ya know?

But, for how many generations have the Mob been actively Catholic? They hold weddings and baptisms at their parish church the day after they offed their latest rival. Have the public schools in New York and Chicago banned the wearing of rosaries or crucifixes? Not as far as I know?

Letting the bad people take over the symbols and destroy their real meaning, prohibiting people to wear them because some bad people do, is letting the evil win. Is that what Seattle public schools really want to do?

BTW, I think this is just a leftist community looking for an excuse to exercise their anti-religiosity, and cloaking it in a topic that will get overwhelming support from parents, but I suppose I could be wrong. :rolleyes:

From the article:

Principals have the latitude to determine the difference between genuine religious observance and gang symbols, said Jim Haggart, executive assistant to the superintendent.

I have absolutely NO problem with this whatsoever. When kids are killing each other in the hallway, they need to keep them safe by any means necessary. This is not religious persecution - this is keeping people safe.


So you have no problem with a government institution actively denying your child one of his First Amendment rights? How many Amendments should we scuttle in the name of safety?

*Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – **Benjamin Franklin ***


First the lefties start small, all in the name of safety and protection. slowly but surely our freedoms will be taken away.
‘America, Land of the Free’ will become ‘America, Land of the Enslaved’

I don’t think there’s any way that a bunch of us who read a news story posted on the Internet have any way of knowing if this was a reasonable decision or not.

Gangs do use religious symbols as markers. I have no problem with preventing kids from wearing religious gang symbols. I would hope that any parent who inadvertantly gave a child a crucifix or any other religious item that is used by local gangs would be scrambling to take such an item away the moment they realized what they had done.

Now if the school is truly banning any crucifixes then there is a serious problem and it must be addressed,

But again, we have no way of judging that from a mere article. We need a LOT more information.

At least around here, most gang members are Catholic. They are proud of their faith and show it. I don’t know how they kill and do other things while professing to be so religious and all. However, just because a person is wearing a crucifix doesn’t mean he’s a gang member. I wouldn’t put up with them telling my kid he couldn’t have it.

I would totally believe that kids would stoop to using something like a certain colored rosary to identify themselves in a certain gang. Disgusting. However, how does the principal know for sure? There’s some info missing here. I would say that more than likely the kids have been in trouble with some type of gang issue before and that is why they had gotten in trouble for their accessories.
Of course it won’t end the violence, but it does send the message that gangs activities don’t belong in school. I’d be upset if the school wasn’t doing all they could to discourage gangs. I know that’s one reason school uniforms have become popular with school administrators around the country, even in public schools.

It’s terribly sad that a symbol of Christ has taken on a negative image in our schools. Sad.

If my child is wearing ANYTHING around his neck to signify that he’s in a gang, then absolutely.

I’m not talking about across the board removal of religious jewelry or symbols - ONLY if they are being used for gang purposes.

Would you want your child to walk around his school not knowing who’s a gang member and who isn’t, only because the principal was not allowed to take actions he felt necessary based on his knowledge of the student body?

Talk about “a little temporary safety” to the mother of a dead child who got in the way of a stray bullet from a gang fight in a school hallway.


:rolleyes: Even if the adults are sadly out of touch and misinformed, the kids know what time it is! I went to school alongside gang members for most of my school years. WE knew who the gang members were and whom to avoid crossing. WE knew whose way to stay out of.

If there were some way to kick all gang members out of school, I’d be totally on board. But taking away ALL KIDS’ First Amendment rights in the name of gang prevention is WRONG.

Chip, chip, chip… when we have none of our basic rights left, we will have people who willingly gave them away, usually based on emotion, to thank. There are young men and women getting killed and maimed for our freedom every day, and you want to just hand it over without protest?

Taking away my child’s right to express his faith will not protect him from society’s violence.

I went to school in an area with a very high gang rate. It used to be one of the top cities in the country. We didn’t know who all of the gang members were because there were just too many of them. We weren’t afraid of anyone there, though. Yes, there was an on campus shooting once. It happened after school at a choir concert, though. Maybe the reason that I think this is ridiculous is that I’m so used to be around gang members. I don’t know. However, if I were wearing a crucifix to school I would also refuse to take it off. Yes, even gang members have the right to wear them. At least around here, it isn’t the necklaces that signify gangs. It is more clothes and tattoos.

What part of this do you NOT GET? Never one single time did I EVER suggest taking away "ALL KIDS’ " rights. Show me where I said that, please. Because I never would.

Taking away my child’s right to express his faith will not protect him from society’s violence.

Is your child a gang member? Then I have no problems taking away HIS rights to use ANY symbol to communicate his affiliation.

We are talking about using these symbols (and I don’t really care what they are) to show gang affiliation. This is not “expressing faith” - this is something wholly different, and they are using the untouchablity of religious freedom to hide behind. That’s bullcr*p and needs to be stopped.


I don’t believe that kids have first amendment rights when it comes to school. They don’t get to wear whatever clothing they want, with whatever foul slogans, etc. I would think that this type of thing could easily fall under the umbrella of “dress code”. I’m not saying that crucifixes should not be allowed, just putting in my :twocents: about teenagers’ First Amendment rights at school.

lizaanne, you said you have no problem with the banning of crucifixes in school. That is taking away all kids’ First Amendment right to expression of religion. The kids in the article said they are not gang members, they are wearing religious gifts from their parents. But even if they are lying, the school is banning ALL CRUCIFIXES for ALL KIDS! The authorities quoted in the story are clear in saying that to them, crucifix = gang affiliation. The kids were suspended because they would not take off their crucifixes. So what part of this don’t YOU get?

susie g., student initiated expressions of faith in public school settings have been explicitly protected by the Supreme Court. So, yes, they do have that First Amendment right, even in school.

Prove it. I re-read the article and I find NO reference to the banning of “ALL CRUCIFIXES for ALL KIDS”.

As a matter of fact - this is what the article DOES say.

Equinoa said religious items are not banned. But, as principal, he reserves the right to ask a student to remove, or cover up, any item he feels could indicate gang affiliation even a crucifix.

The school district backs him up.

Principals have the latitude to determine the difference between genuine religious observance and gang symbols, said Jim Haggart, executive assistant to the superintendent.

“We’re not trying to squash any religious symbols and we’re not trying to get into religion, but we are trying to get into student safety, and that’s what we’re really concerned about,” Haggart said.

NO one is talking about across the board banning in this article. You are sensationalizing the situation based on your own interpretation of made up ideas of what you think happened. Given the fact that all we have to go on is what is contained in THIS article, I see no evidence of the banning of “ALL CRUCIFIXES for ALL KIDS”.

If you wish to discuss this based on the facts of the article, then fine. But making things up and pretending they are fact is not an option.

There is nothing wrong or harmful (to our personal expression rights) in stopping the abuse of the use of ANY symbol by gangs. I don’t care if it’s a banana they hang around their necks, or a crucifix. If it is being used as a gang symbol it is absolutely not allowed and the principal has ever right and responsibility to preserve the safety and well being of the children under his roof. If someone cries “religious freedom” let them prove it in a court of law. In the mean time I would much rather have my child walk the halls of a school where the principal is doing whatever he can to keep him as safe as possible.

Read the article again. And this time, don’t make things up.


initally i was apaulled by this article. But as i read it more carefully, i found that the principal was not banning all crucifixes or rosaries. look what it says:

Equinoa said he could not comment on specific student discipline issues. But he said any directive to a student to remove or cover any item, religious or otherwise, would not be made without other information.

so in anotherwards its not like the principal is going to tell every student he sees in the hall to “take off your crucifix”, rather he would only do so if “he had other information” like if the crucifix was decorated in a fashion that showed obvious gang affiliation or if the person wearing it was a known gang member.

March 4 2008 Update
The Oregonian

Like the mom says, these kids need to put the Rosary in their pocket at school. Sheesh.

I, too, am very saddened.

Reminder: online newspaper stories usually are removed in 14 days.

The update only further strengthens my previous opposition to what is happening.

As much as it makes my skin crawl to agree with the ACLU, this school system is going to end up in court and it will lose. Student-initiated displays of spirituality or prayer have been EXPLICITLY protected by the Supreme Court. I am sorry if gangsters are misusing religious articles, but that doesn’t mean the gov’t or any of its arms can deny others their Constitutional rights and freedoms. And taking away people’s First Amendment rights is NOT going to save any lives! Gangsters kill people… it’s what they do, and nothing we do is going to change it!

Gang prevention programs can save some kids. Some people get sick of it and leave on their own, paying an extremely high price to do so (getting “jumped out”). But the only thing to do with active, committed gang members is to prosecute their crimes and lock them up.

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