Collinsville, IL (KSDK)- Some catholic students at Collinsville High School in Illinois are upset because they say they can't wear their Rosary to school. Newschannel Five spoke with one student who was suspended for wearing them.
The student said the high school told him he cannot wear rosary beads to school because they are gang related, and after warning him they suspended him for 5 days. "I was pretty angry," said Rodrigo Avila, a Collinsville High School sophomore.
Avila was suspended from school for wearing rosary beads, something he says is very meaningful to him.
"My godfather gave it to me as a gift. I want to wear my rosary because I am proud of it because I am religious," said Avila.
"He was born and raised in a catholic atmosphere so we're just true believers of the Catholic Church. It's just the significance of him carrying out his faith," said Julia Avila who is Rodrigo's mother. But, Avila says Collinsville High School sees the beads as a sign of something else.
"They say it is gang affiliated," said Avila.
The school's dress code policy does not state any specific rule prohibiting rosary beads. It does state that anything associated or affiliated with gangs is not allowed.
When asked if he was in a gang, Avila said no.
His mother confirmed.
Avila's friend, Eduardo Pacheco, teaches catholic classes after school and is also upset by the school's actions.
"A lot of people today were wearing, they were rebelling," said Pacheco.
Avila says he was told if he ever wore the beads again he would be suspended for ten days or even kicked out of school.
"I hope it (the school's dress code policy), would change I mean it's silly. I really don't think it's a fair policy," said Julia Avila.
"I just want to wear my rosary in school without anyone saying anything," Avila said.
Collinsville High School had no comment on the matter but, the school's dress code does state that the principal has the final authority for judging the appropriateness of a student's appearance.
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