ALBANY, N.Y. – A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a school to reinstate a 13-year-old boy who was suspended for wearing rosary beads, pending a hearing into whether the suspension violated his civil rights.

Oneida Middle School officials contend Raymond Hosier violated a policy banning gang-related clothing, as rosary beads are sometimes worn as gang symbols. But the seventh-grader, who initially was suspended two weeks ago, says he wears the rosary in memory of his younger brother, who died while clutching it after a bicycle accident.

The American Center for Law and Justice, an offshoot of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, filed a lawsuit Tuesday, contending the suspension violated the boy’s rights to free speech and religious expression.


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