Students in Sante Fe, New Mexico who wear a T-shirt with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it can wear them again without fear of punishment. The hero in this debate proved to be Archbishop Michael Sheehan.
This spring, public school officials in Sante Fe apologized for prohibiting students from wearing the Catholic T-shirt and have more recently put the issue behind them by discussing what happened with Archbishop Sheehan. School authorities initially banned the shirts because some gang members had incorporated their gang insignia on the religious symbol. But not all who wore a T-shirt with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it were gang members.
All sides agreed that school officials must draw distinctions between the legitimate use of religious symbols on clothing and the illegitimate appropriation of them by gang members. Archbishop Sheehan spoke for many when he said, “It’s singling out a religious symbol in a negative way and I do protest that.”