Religious Symbology & School Dress Codes

So this past weekend was the Beltane Brouhaha in Kings Mountain State Park. I will post pics soon, we had an amazing time! Anyhow I had pulled Molly out of school last Friday for us to leave mid-day for the event. We had some last minute cleaning and packing to do all that morning. While there Molly found a fondness for pentagrams/pentacles and tarot cards. So she has her first pentagram necklace and her first deck of tarot cards (now to find someone to teach us how to use them!).

She asked me if she could wear her necklace to school. Ahhhh such a simple question. Living in the bible belt automatically nixes the simplicity. I know her teacher is a Unitarian Universalist and Molly has mentioned her pagan tendencies in the classroom. So she has never felt the need to hide it…that part makes me happy. However most of us know the negative connotations that come with pentagram. So what does one do?

After thinking about it I told her yes she could. However we discussed the possiblities of what may happen when she wears it. Perhaps this is very wrong of me but I told her if anyone asked what it was she was to say it was a star with a glass stone. Nothing more. And if someone asked if it was a pentagram then she should be honest and say yes. I don’t want her to lie persay just lay low. I don’t know if that is the right thing to do or not. She has already dealt with some backlash for her momma being pagan, but for her to show this outright may bring that backlash onto her instead of me.

If the school calls me over it I am going to stand up for her and stand our ground. I cannot say that I recall any child in that school wearing any religious jewelry. But I checked the dress code. It does say “Dress Code is built on societal expectations that dress should be appropriate to the mission of the institution. Any clothing that unduly distracts from the normal operation of the school is inappropriate for school”. It goes on about CLOTHES not jewelry. So now I am not sure if they would lump jewelry in there or not. I do know my girls have gone to school with bracelets, small earrings and small rings in the past. Nothing big and flashy or anything like that. So….would the school pull the “societal expectations” card and say that crosses are ok and pentagrams are not? Not fair in my book. If one religious symbol is not allowed then none should be. And honestly, I want all religious symbols to be allowed….not one more thing taken away from them. So that leaves me in a stuck position (hypothetically since this has yet to happen lol). Do you fight for the right of your child to wear their religious jewelry and possibly all kids losing their right to wear their religious jewelry….or do you allow “societal expectations” to walk all over you and you sit quietly by forcing your child back into the broom closet (which she has never felt the need to be in, in the first place)?

I guess we shall see how this plays out in the future. Hubs thinks that nothing will happen because he thinks her generation as a whole is not as religious as ours or the generation before us. Perhaps he is right? I think that maybe the kids won’t care but one mention of seeing a pentagram at school to mom or dad may cause phone calls. Let’s hope nothing comes of it at all.

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~ by alegna75 on May 3, 2009.

9 Responses to “Religious Symbology & School Dress Codes”

  1. Here is an article about how the ACLU defended a pagan student’s right to wear a pentagram. I’d print that article out and have it on hand. I doubt the school will want to start a bruhaha with the ACLU!
    And I wouldn’t worry about the school banning all religious jewelry. I’m sure many of the other parents would be up in arms if that was that were to come up. They certainly would be unable to ban religious headgear, so I doubt they’d try to ban jewelry.

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=cases&id=2351

    • Thanks! I have that printed and ready. On top of that a local organization, Mother Grove, has offered to help us in the event we have an issue. They have assisted with this issue in the past but usually at the county school level and we are in the city school system. It’s great to know that I have supporters ready to help!

  2. My guess is that if there is a complaint it will be a teacher and not a student. I’d be surprised if your average kid would even have a clue what it was.

    • Yea that would be understandable. Her teacher is of no worry to me, she feels that Molly should be who she is and make no excuses for it but at the same time we both agree she needs to be prepared for reactions. Of the kids that would know what a pentagram is, they are probably being homeschooled. Alot of our extreme right wing Christians won’t put their kids in school here due to the fact that they feel that heathens rule the schools. I just worry because I wish I could shelter her from some of the nastiness of the real world. Unrealistic but I can’t help it. I would rather someone try to pick on me since I am older, pretty dang educated, and capable of defending myself. She is still so young, ya know?

  3. i went to school with all kinds of pentagram wearin’ peeps. why does everything have to be such a BFD? if something happens, throw a fit. ask them if they’d ban the star of David. Bet not….

  4. So here is a quick update:

    One kid did know it was a pentagram. However he told Molly that Centaurs and Vampires use pentagrams to gain power. I laughed at that, it was just too cute. SO I went looking online and found an RPG game that says something to that effect. Another boy said to her that he wanted one just like it. SO we shall see what happens. We went to walmart a little while ago and I caught a few people staring at her. But no one said a word, which is a good thing lol.

  5. Sometimes I really enjoy living in Finland. We don’t care so much about religion. Most of the Finns are Evangelical Lutheran, but it doesn’t really effect our daily life in any way. Only minority goes to church regularly, others go to church only on Christmas or never. True Christians are _freaks_ here. I’m not kidding. And because religion is not important to us, we don’t mind if other people believe in something else. Kids can wear as many pentagrams as they want. It’s OK… as long as you don’t try to convert others or preach around.

    Just babbling something 🙂 These things are so different around the world.

  6. LOL! You can tell her that it has also been a historical tradition that when someone turns into a werewolf, the symbol magically appears on their palm.

    I think it really helps with the other kids that werewolves, witches and vamps have had a popular upswing lately. Not accurately, I know, but hey! If it puts a more positive swing on it, where it can be discussed and not just finger pointed at, I’m good with that!

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