LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) -- Loveland high school officials are defending their decision to bar a student from wearing rosary beads as part of a school program to fight gang activity.
Thompson Valley High School principal Mark Johnson says the beads are not banned, but school officials objected when the student wore the beads around his neck. Authorities say rosary beads around the neck are a symbol being used by gangs across the country to identify members.
Manuel Vigil has had two sets of rosary beads confiscated this year. His mother, Antoinette Ramirez, tells the Loveland Reporter-Herald her son is Catholic and he wears the beads to help him deal with the recent murder of an uncle in California.