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Jun 1, 2010 6:56 PM by Greg Boyce

Boy's suspension over rosary beads overturned pending hearing

A federal judge says a New York school must reinstate a 13-year-old boy who was suspended for wearing rosary beads.

Judge Lawrence Kahn ordered the Schenectady seventh-grader reinstated pending a June 11 hearing into whether the suspension violated the boy's civil rights.  Oneida  Middle School officials contend Raymond Hosier violated a policy banning gang-related clothing because the prayer beads sometimes are worn as gang symbols. They suspended him two weeks ago.

But the boy says he wears the purple rosary in memory of his younger brother, who died while clutching it after a bicycle accident.  The American Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court contending the suspension violated Hosier's rights to free speech and religious expression.

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