According to an article which appeared in Reuters news service on
March 22, Lincoln Park High School has settled their lawsuit with the
ACLU, allowing students to wear pentacles to school without fear of
suspension or reprimand. This issue has been going on since October
of 1998 when this issue first appeared in the national media,, and it is
great to finally have the issue closed, especially in the favor of Wicca
and, in a larger picture, tolerance and education for many
non-mainstream religions. It is unfortunate that a young woman
actually had to go all the way to the ACLU and a lawsuit to have her
religious faith recognized and respected in a public forum dedicated to
education, but we can all hope that others will learn from the Lincoln
Michigan school alters policy to recognize witch
March 22, 1999
DETROIT (Reuters) - A suburban Michigan high school settled a
lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union Monday, allowing an honor
student who practices witchcraft to wear the symbols of her religion to class.
Lincoln Park High School, located in a blue-collar community south of
Detroit, changed its policy so that 17-year-old Crystal Siefferly can wear a
pentagram, a symbol important to her Wicca religion.
"I'm glad it's over," the senior honor-roll student said in a statement. "The
longer it went on and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it
wasn't just about me and just about Wicca. It was about a lot of other
people and religions."
Lincoln Park High School in recent months banned witches, white
supremacists and Satanists, as well as black nail polish, vampire style
makeup and pentagrams. Under the ban, the accessories would be
confiscated if they were worn to school and the student suspended
The ACLU sued the high school on Siefferly's behalf in U.S. District Court
in Detroit last month calling the ban unlawful.
Monday, ACLU Michigan Executive Director Kary Moss said school
officials were "very reasonable in recognizing that this (Wicca) is a religion."
Pentagrams are five-pointed stars enclosed in a circle, a symbol of air, fire,
water, earth and spirit.
STUDENT: GANG CRACKDOWN CUT RELIGIOUS RIGHTS BY
JUSTIN HYDE- ASSOCIATED PRESS 3 Mar 1999
DETROIT- If schools want to keep gang symbols out of classrooms, here
are two items they should look for:a Jewish Star of David or a U.S.
Marshall's baseball cap.
That was part of the testiomny Tuesday in a lawsuit pitting personal
practice of religion against a school's efforts to prevent gang
It was brought on behalf of Crystal Seifferly, a 17-year-old Lincoln
Park High School student. Since October, School officals have told her
to wear a necklace with a five pointed star, or pentacle, under her
shirt saying the Wiccan symbol was an advertisement for satanic worship.
While U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen is not expected to rule for at
least a week, there were some signs of a comprimise.
School officals said they would be willing to remove the word "Witches"
from the list of banned activities.
But lawyers for Seifferly, who describes herself as a Wiccan, witch or
pagan, Said that was onlt "two-thirds of the way there," and the school
would have to lift its curb on the necklace.
Seifferly testified that the pentacle-a five pointed star with one
point up and two points down-was an important part of her religion.
Wicca is a religion that celebrates seasonal and life cycles that
Seifferly said the necklace had never caused any trouble until last
October, when the school announced a new policy aimed at supressing
gangs, drug use, violence and disruptive behavior,
The list banned such groups as "KKK, Skin Heads, Wiggans[sic],
Pagans, Satanists, Cults/Occult, Street Gangs, Whits Supremists, Strait Edge,
Gothic, Vampires, Witches." And it banned pentacles such as Seifferly's,
along with black nail polish, dog collars and "death style makeup."
Violaters of the policy face suspension.
Principal Tomas Kolka said the pentacle was banned because it was on
the cover of a satanic Bible.
But Rosen pointed out that the star on the satanic Bible Kolka saw was
a pentagram, a five pointed star with two points up and one down-
different from Seiferly's.
But, even slight differences could still be dangerous, Oakland County
Crime Supression Task Force member Larry Gibson testified. "Gang
members don't take time to look at multiple signs."
Rosen then produced a baseball hat, a blue cap tith a five pionted
star. Gibson said the hat could cause trouble because the star signified
one gang and the color signified its rival.
"You could be showing disrespect for both gangs," he said.
The hat was a U.S. marshal's baseball cap.
School Sued Over Witchcraft Ban
(Last updated 5:21 PM ET February 9)
DETROIT (Reuters) - A suburban Michigan high school could be
in for toil and trouble after it was sued Tuesday for blocking a
honor student from practicing her religion -- witchcraft.
Lincoln Park High School, located in a blue-collar community
south of Detroit, was sued in U.S. District Court in Detroit by the
American Civil Liberties Union for not allowing 17-year-old senior
and witch Crystal Siefferly to wear a pentacle, a symbol important
to her Wicca religion.
The ALCU called the school's actions unlawful and asked the
court for a preliminary injunction while the case is being heard to
lift the ban against wearing a pentacle or pentagram. The
five-pointed star, enclosed in a circle, is worn by witches as a
symbol of air, fire, water, earth and spirit.
"Being forced to conceal one's religious symbol under their shirt is
a form of shame," Siefferly told a news conference. "Fear of
expressing one's religion in America should be unheard of due to
Lincoln Park High School principal Tom Kolka declined to
comment Tuesday. But in a letter to parents a few months ago he
announced a policy banning witches, white supremacists and
Satanists as well as such accessories as black nail polish, vampire
style makeup and pentacles.
If worn, the symbols would be confiscated and those wearing them
ACLU of Michigan executive director Kary Moss decried the
school's policy as unfairly targeting a religion recognized by U.S.
federal courts and the U.S. Army.
Moss said Siefferly was humiliated by being grouped with
Satanists and white supremacists, and added that Crystal's mother,
Carmela, a practicing Christian, supported her daughter's beliefs.