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ACLU Supports Students’ Right of Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2010
CONTACT:  C. Ray Drew, Colorado ACLU Executive Director, 303-777-5482 x105                     Mark Silverstein, Colorado ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114

COLORADO SPRINGS –The Colorado Springs Gazette has reported that a local middle school has announced a policy forbidding students from wearing certain Christian symbols to school, unless they are worn underneath clothing.

The ACLU strongly opposes the decision of Colorado Springs School District 11 on the basis of religious liberty.

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU said, “The First Amendment protects the right of students to express their faith by wearing crosses, rosaries, or other religious symbols without interference from school officials. Our Constitution protects the right to individual religious liberty and the ACLU is here to support everyone who chooses to exercise that right.”

“For over 90 years the ACLU has always defended the religious liberty of all Americans. It is one of the most fundamental of our nation’s freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Ray Drew.

According to the Gazette, Monsignor Bob Jaeger of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs has stated that the church is OK with the school’s position and Colorado Springs School District 11spokesperson Elaine Naleski states that this policy is necessary to prevent the use of crosses and rosaries as gang symbols.

For more press coverage on the story, see links below:

ACLU: D-11 Ban Violates Students' Rights

Our View: D-11 Targets Catholics, No One Else

ACLU Rosary Statement – The Colorado Springs Gazette

CO: ACLU Speaks out against D-11 school's rosary rules

ACLU Stands up for the right of Colorado Springs middle schooler to wear rosary at public school





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