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School Officials Do About-Face, Allow Student’s Jesus Costume

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HIGHLAND PARK (CBS) — A north suburban high school student was pulled from classes on Halloween after dressing like Jesus.

According to Highland Park High senior Marshon Sanders’ mother, Angenetta Frison, some teachers found the costume offensive.

School officials relented, after sending the student home to change, and allowed him to return in costume, WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports.

“I was kind of hurt, actually, because I wasn’t expected all of this to happen,” the student tells CBS 2’s Brad Edwards. “Because I saw (other) kids dressed as Moses and other characters like that, so I’m like, ‘Why do I have to, why am I going through all this process because I want to be Jesus?’”

Sanders’ costume included a long, white robe; red sash, head scarf and cross necklace.

Frison said she didn’t question her son’s choice of costume when he left for school.

“I encouraged him to dress as someone inspiring or uplifting,” she said.

But the costume temporarily ran afoul of school policy, which states that costumes that “could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture, gender, sexual orientation, heritage or religion are not permitted.”

Melinda Vajdic, school spokeswoman, said the costume could be interpreted as poking fun or perpetuating a “religious stereotype.”

“Costumes trivialize,” Vajdic said. “I’m sure that wasn’t his intent, but we want to maintain a culture of mutual respect.”

Frison and her son are members of Jesus Name Apostolic Church in Waukegan. He also attends Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington.

Last Halloween, Sanders dressed as the rap artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg.

“They didn’t have a problem with that,” Frison said.

Contributing: Sun-Time Media Wire. (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)