School district kicks rosary policy over to lawyers - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

School district kicks rosary policy over to lawyers

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Fargo school officials say a school dress code policy meant to discourage gang-related attire is now in the hands of the district's attorneys.

They say they're concerned it may have legal problems on grounds of freedom of religion.

One Fargo South High school student's mother complained after her son was told by school officials to take off the rosary he was wearing.

The student's mother says the family wears the rosaries as part of their faith.

The district says rosaries have been shown to be gang symbols in other communities.

The superintendent says the South High administrator who called the boy a racially insensitive name while confronting the student is now being disciplined.

Dr. Mike Nygaard will receive oral and written reprimands and undergo sensitivity training after calling the boy "buckwheat."

He'll also receive a note in his file.

"He knew the minute it came out of his mouth it was a problem," says Rick Buresh, the school district superintendent. "And he's since then apologized to the student and to his parent, and he's admitted that it was wrong."

The superintendent says whatever the lawyers recommend, the policy will have to be very specifically written in order to strike a good balance between personal freedom and student safety.

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