School Makes Student Remove Jesus Costume - NBC Chicago

School Makes Student Remove Jesus Costume

Officials at Highland Park High School, north of Chicago, later relented



    A Highland Park High School senior feels he was persecuted Thursday because of his Halloween costume. (Published Friday, Nov. 1, 2013)

    A suburban Chicago high school senior feels he was persecuted Thursday because of his Halloween costume.

    Marshon Sanders showed up for class at Highland Park High School dressed as Jesus, but school officials initially didn't think it was very funny.

    The 17-year-old senior was pulled out of class and sent to the dean's office soon after he arrived at school.

    "I go down to the dean's, and she tells me that my costume was offensive and I was promoting religion, which I wasn't at all, so that's when I called my mom and let her know," Sanders said.

    District 113 officials say the costume was called into question due to the following policy:

    "Costumes that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone's culture, gender, sexual orientation, heritage or religion are not permitted. Students will be required to change out of these costumes prior to returning to class.

    Sanders' mother, Angenetta Frison, went to the school after hearing about the incident.

    "I think it's unfortunate that Marshon was caught in the middle of it, where he was kind of pulled out of class and everybody's looking at him. What did he do?" Frison said.

    School officials released a statement saying they were originally "concerned that the costume could be offensive to religious sensibilities," but later determined Sanders was not trying to be offensive and allowed him to wear the costume.

    But by then, Sanders had had enough.

    "I didn't want to put it back on because I didn't feel right, because I should have wore it in the first place and not told to take it off," Sanders said.

    Highland Park is about 23 miles north of downtown Chicago.