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I did a double-take today when I read a report in the Washington Times that you believe the New York school district was wrong in suspending our client, Raymond Hosier, for wearing a Rosary to school. In punishing Raymond, officials at Oneida Middle School in Schenectady pointed to a vague dress code policy and linked the Rosary to ‘gang-related’ symbols.
Tell me it’s true, Barry. Tell me the article is accurate.
From the Washington Times story, which is posted here in its entirety:
Mr. Lynn said the school district “clearly overreacted” and is trampling on the boy’s religious freedom. “I think an injustice has been done to him in the false name of preventing gang problems,” he said.
Mr. Lynn said he thinks broad and sweeping generalizations such as the Oneida school’s vague dress code fail most practical and constitutional measures and that the school’s action eliminates Raymond’s legitimate rights to freedom of speech and religious expression.
“Schools in general need to deal with real problems and real solutions,” Mr. Lynn said.
As you know, we’ve filed a federal complaint against the school district and succeeded in getting Raymond back to class – with the Rosary in place – thanks to a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by a federal district court judge this week.
We have a hearing before the judge next week where we will argue exactly what you have presented: the school’s dress code is unconstitutionally vague and the school’s disciplinary action taken against Raymond violates his First Amendment rights by prohibiting him from engaging in free speech and free exercise of religion.
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