In their mad rush to fight “gang activity,” school officials in a little town just west of Omaha, Neb., have banned a 12-year-old girl from wearing a necklace resembling a rosary — because they’ve been told that gangs in distant states might be using them as symbols.
She really looks like a hardcore ganger to me, even if she says she doesn’t understand what a gang is. So is the school saying that it believes this girl is trying to promote gangs — with the various things she wears to promote her faith?
“I’m wearing a cross necklace, a cross T-shirt and a cross bracelet,” she said. “I’m thinking of how Jesus died on the cross and how he gave up all his sins for us.”
The school superintendent says it’s a safety issue, but it seems that the real issue is school administrators who aren’t smart enough or brave enough to figure out when there’s an actual problem requiring a solution and when there’s nothing wrong.
Omaha Catholic Archdiocese Chancellor Rev. Joseph Taphorn was being far too rational to be a government school administrator when he commented:
“One ought to be able to figure out whether she’s trying to promote a gang,” Taphorn said. “If she’s not, why would she be punished for her right of religious freedom and religious expression?”
One-size-fits-all policies are silly and they lead to absurdities such as this. It’s yet another reason why one-size-fits-all government is bad, because the parents of this little girl don’t have a realistic alternative to switching to another education provider — since they’re already being forced to pay for this one run by people with no ability to exercise judgment.