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Author Topic: dress codes and stars oh my (oh koi)  (Read 6625 times)
mandrina
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« Topic Start: September 04, 2008, 04:20:36 pm »

My daughter's school basically says one cannot wear a star of david without being jewish.  I'm not sure yet if they will accept wiccan or satanism as a reason to wear a pent (not that i expect her to ever wear one), but it's because they are gang symbols. 

This annoys me, for several reasons, they are giving the gangs more power, they are allowing the gangs to dictate the dress code, if one wears a star of david, the initial assumption is that one is a gang member, not that one is jewish.  They can't wear bandannas either for the same reason, the assumption is that one is a member of a particular gang, not that one likes red bandannas.  I'm pretty sure I just outed myself, and that it's not going to make a difference.

I want Koi to tell me this is illegal, or is this an effective way around the rulings that have been made so far that say, you can't just ban them.
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« Reply #1: September 04, 2008, 04:41:03 pm »

I want Koi to tell me this is illegal, or is this an effective way around the rulings that have been made so far that say, you can't just ban them.

From my brief time on the semi-admin side of things (ok...as a student teacher), schools seem to have a LOT of power in their dress code requirements.  As long as they can get the majority to agree on a given restriction, they can enforce it, good or bad.  Normally, the majority has to include parents, from what I understand, but as long as those restrictions don't make every parent have to go out and buy all-new clothes for their kids, the school system doesn't get many complaints outside of the kids.
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« Reply #2: September 04, 2008, 04:55:31 pm »

From my brief time on the semi-admin side of things (ok...as a student teacher), schools seem to have a LOT of power in their dress code requirements.  As long as they can get the majority to agree on a given restriction, they can enforce it, good or bad.  Normally, the majority has to include parents, from what I understand, but as long as those restrictions don't make every parent have to go out and buy all-new clothes for their kids, the school system doesn't get many complaints outside of the kids.

I believe that most of the lawsuits banning pents have been lost by the schools who tried to do it.  I also believe that if they tried to get around it by banning all religious jewelry, they have lost as well.  And in at least one case where they banned wearing the catholic rosary as a necklace because a gang had appropriated it,  the school had to back down.  HTere is, I believe, another lawsuit in process over the rosary turned gang symbol.
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« Reply #3: September 04, 2008, 05:17:35 pm »

I believe that most of the lawsuits banning pents have been lost by the schools who tried to do it.  I also believe that if they tried to get around it by banning all religious jewelry, they have lost as well.  And in at least one case where they banned wearing the catholic rosary as a necklace because a gang had appropriated it,  the school had to back down.  HTere is, I believe, another lawsuit in process over the rosary turned gang symbol.

I hate the current ACLU website.  Tried searching for bans on school jewelry, kept coming up with arm bands, t-shirts, etc.

I suspect from browsing the yahoo search results and one article at Volkh Conspiracy, the school can ban all jewelry.  It can not ban just religious jewelry since that's an interference with religion vs non-religion.

As for only letting Jews wear Stars of David, that's opening themselves up to all sorts of issues.  Who is a Jew is a big question. You are getting into both international politics and Jewish religious law.
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« Reply #4: September 04, 2008, 05:27:00 pm »

As for only letting Jews wear Stars of David, that's opening themselves up to all sorts of issues.  Who is a Jew is a big question. You are getting into both international politics and Jewish religious law.

And the (US/US State) government lacks the authority to decide who is and is not of a religion and that would be establishing government requirements to be of a religion. I suspect that the school can either ban all religious jewelry or let people wear the religious jewelry of their choice. Freedom of religion should trump worries about "gang symbols."
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« Reply #5: September 04, 2008, 05:41:51 pm »

And the (US/US State) government lacks the authority to decide who is and is not of a religion and that would be establishing government requirements to be of a religion. I suspect that the school can either ban all religious jewelry or let people wear the religious jewelry of their choice. Freedom of religion should trump worries about "gang symbols."

Which of course makes a restriction so stupid.  Who is the school going to ask, besides the individual wearing the jewelry? 
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mandrina
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« Reply #6: September 04, 2008, 05:56:47 pm »

I hate the current ACLU website.  Tried searching for bans on school jewelry, kept coming up with arm bands, t-shirts, etc.

I suspect from browsing the yahoo search results and one article at Volkh Conspiracy, the school can ban all jewelry.  It can not ban just religious jewelry since that's an interference with religion vs non-religion.

As for only letting Jews wear Stars of David, that's opening themselves up to all sorts of issues.  Who is a Jew is a big question. You are getting into both international politics and Jewish religious law.

I just talked to the principal.  He believes that the gangs are a serious enough problem that requiring a student to say they are of a particular religion in order to wear the symbol unmolested is a sacrifice worth making and they would do the same with a christian cross.  I am assuming that they would go by whatever the student says, but you know, if I was a gang memeber and they asked me if I was jewish, I would say yes.  Are they going to give any further test? (I didn't ask that question)  I'm tempted to contact the local temple to see what they think, but they should already know about it.
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« Reply #7: September 04, 2008, 06:01:06 pm »

I want Koi to tell me this is illegal, or is this an effective way around the rulings that have been made so far that say, you can't just ban them.

Sorry, I wish I could. If it's gang-related clothing codes, they can pretty much do what they want right now. It's not an uncommon restriction -- there are schools that forbid Christians from wearing WWJD bracelets because those too are used as gang symbols. Since schools generally ARE allowed to set dress codes and they generally ARE allowed to ban gang symbols, the school has a strong case.

You may be able to force them to show that the symbol HAS been used as a gang symbol to justify the blanket ban, but it probably has been.

However, if they ARE allowing children with religious affiliations to wear the symbols, I'm not entirely sure what the complaint is -- they're not infringing on free exercise, just requiring parents to make a minimal show of justification, which is probably allowed under current legal standards. I'm not entirely sure what you'd sue for.
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« Reply #8: September 04, 2008, 06:34:55 pm »

Sorry, I wish I could. If it's gang-related clothing codes, they can pretty much do what they want right now. It's not an uncommon restriction -- there are schools that forbid Christians from wearing WWJD bracelets because those too are used as gang symbols. Since schools generally ARE allowed to set dress codes and they generally ARE allowed to ban gang symbols, the school has a strong case.

You may be able to force them to show that the symbol HAS been used as a gang symbol to justify the blanket ban, but it probably has been.

However, if they ARE allowing children with religious affiliations to wear the symbols, I'm not entirely sure what the complaint is -- they're not infringing on free exercise, just requiring parents to make a minimal show of justification, which is probably allowed under current legal standards. I'm not entirely sure what you'd sue for.

MY complaint is that we are allowing the gangs to take over symbols, particularly religious symbols.  However having looked a little, I'd have to agree with 'allowed under current legal standards'. 
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mandrina
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« Reply #9: September 04, 2008, 06:41:49 pm »

Sorry, I wish I could. If it's gang-related clothing codes, they can pretty much do what they want right now. It's not an uncommon restriction -- there are schools that forbid Christians from wearing WWJD bracelets because those too are used as gang symbols. Since schools generally ARE allowed to set dress codes and they generally ARE allowed to ban gang symbols, the school has a strong case.

You may be able to force them to show that the symbol HAS been used as a gang symbol to justify the blanket ban, but it probably has been.

However, if they ARE allowing children with religious affiliations to wear the symbols, I'm not entirely sure what the complaint is -- they're not infringing on free exercise, just requiring parents to make a minimal show of justification, which is probably allowed under current legal standards. I'm not entirely sure what you'd sue for.

we are officially cheating.  I am getting her a coexist necklace (or making a cheaper and more inclusive version of it,) There will be no way it can be accused of being a gang symbol.

http://store.justso.us/ss80204.html

also http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9801E3DA1738F93AA2575BC0A96F958260

But we have an exception for jews, which this school does not.

And I think I may ask for proof on the 'gangs in the area' that use various pointed stars.

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« Reply #10: September 04, 2008, 06:49:37 pm »



Not to sound rude, just curious really, why are you so upset if you or your daughter are not Jewish?  And if you were, she would be able to wear the Star of David.  I just don't understand why she needs to wear one, unless as a symbol of male divinity, which it is sometimes used for, but still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me given the circumstances.

?
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mandrina
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« Reply #11: September 04, 2008, 07:05:26 pm »

Not to sound rude, just curious really, why are you so upset if you or your daughter are not Jewish?  And if you were, she would be able to wear the Star of David.  I just don't understand why she needs to wear one, unless as a symbol of male divinity, which it is sometimes used for, but still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me given the circumstances.

?

As I said before I am objecting to allowing the gangs to coopt religious symbols.  I don't care if a gang is using it as a symbol, the assumption when they look at my child should be, that child is jewish-wiccan-satanist-shristian-catholic-muslin-whatever.  Not: that child is a gang member until I find out otherwise.

Besides, pents are included in the ban.
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« Reply #12: September 05, 2008, 03:44:11 am »

My daughter's school basically says one cannot wear a star of david without being jewish.  I'm not sure yet if they will accept wiccan or satanism as a reason to wear a pent (not that i expect her to ever wear one), but it's because they are gang symbols. 

This annoys me, for several reasons, they are giving the gangs more power, they are allowing the gangs to dictate the dress code, if one wears a star of david, the initial assumption is that one is a gang member, not that one is jewish.  They can't wear bandannas either for the same reason, the assumption is that one is a member of a particular gang, not that one likes red bandannas.  I'm pretty sure I just outed myself, and that it's not going to make a difference.

I want Koi to tell me this is illegal, or is this an effective way around the rulings that have been made so far that say, you can't just ban them.

Whoa.  I'm sorry, but this just completely caught me off guard.  What gang is it that uses the star of david as a gang symbol?  Are they pulling this out of their ears, or is this actually documented use of the star of david...  I have never heard of this one. 
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« Reply #13: September 05, 2008, 04:01:24 am »

Whoa.  I'm sorry, but this just completely caught me off guard.  What gang is it that uses the star of david as a gang symbol?  Are they pulling this out of their ears, or is this actually documented use of the star of david...  I have never heard of this one. 

The article stated though that the Star of David was used "with other elements" by these gangs.  So, it isn't, by itself, a gang symbol.  ( I should have read the rest of the posts, and slicked, but I just was so taken off guard by that...)

Also, the way a very respected teacher (when I was in school) explained things to me is that it is a distraction.  If even one other student saw it and made a connection between it and gangs rather than the religious connection, it could cause problems.  I have heard of schools in this area, switching to uniforms, or presenting this as an option, so that they could avoid this very problem.

I don't think, really, that it is actually a matter of the schools giving power to the gangs, but a symptom of our society (American) as a whole.  When I was younger the area I went to school in never had any gang problems, but by the time I reached high school, there were actually a few gang members in the area, as well as in the school.  And this was a VERY rural area.  Between 70 and 90 percent of the student body lived out in the countryside, a good many of those on farms  (I can't remember exact numbers, I think it may have been closer to 75 percent, but I'm not sure, I know there sure were a lot of them, and our senior yearbook even had a "Most likely to be a Farmer" award Tongue). 

Now everywhere you look, it seems, there is some "gangsta" wannabe.  I think too that it is a symptom of the glamorization of certain things.  Kids think it's cool, because of what they hear and see, or because their friends are doing it, or what have you. 

ETA:  I agree that it shouldn't be that way.  But, you and your daughter may have to just deal with it.  I know when I saw my kids dress code I was a bit shocked to see some of the things on there, and they are in an elementary school which only goes to third grade...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 04:06:44 am by wisdomsbane, Reason: clarification among others » Logged

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« Reply #14: September 05, 2008, 08:03:46 am »

Whoa.  I'm sorry, but this just completely caught me off guard.  What gang is it that uses the star of david as a gang symbol?  Are they pulling this out of their ears, or is this actually documented use of the star of david...  I have never heard of this one. 

well, according to the article about the lawsuit, there is one in the southern US. But not in the immediate area of that school.
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