An 8th grade girl got suspended in Texas for wearing a rosary around her neck because wearing a rosary directly violates the school’s dress code.
Rosaries are explicitly prohibited in the dress code because they have become associated with gang membership so the school banned wearing them or openly displaying them.
The girl says she wears the rosary to remind her of her late grandmother. I appreciate memorials as much as anyone, and when my grandmother died I made a point of getting one of her nice rosaries. But, folks, rosaries are intended as prayer aids, not clothing accessories (regardless of how many rosaries Amazon.com labels as “Rosary Necklace & Crucifix”).
What’s more, schools have the obligation to maintain a safe environment. If gangs have co-opted the rosary then any obvious, intentional display of it ought to be banned by the dress code. No problem with that at all. Persecution would start if they banned rosaries on the premises, even if kept in lockers, pockets, or backpacks. That’s not happening.
The problem here is that the girl and her mother think her choice of memorial is more important than school dress code. I’m willing to bet the deceased grandmother would agree with me. If the girl really wants to do good by her grandmother, honor her memory, help her with any time in Purgatory she may have, and put the rosary to its intended and appropriate use, PRAY IT DAILY!
P.S. There is a situation, however, where I think it entirely appropriate to wear a rosary around your neck. If you are in a shooting war and you want to have a rosary, since pocket space is at a premium for things you need to keep yourself and your fellows alive, by all means, wear your rosary around your neck. It just might save your life.
P.P.S. This one really jumps the shark: Jewish rosaries. Seriously.
P.P.P.S. Yes, I guess Jewish “rosaries” are okay to wear.