A Highland Park High School
student told officials he meant no disrespect by dressing as Jesus for
Halloween on Thursday, and was later told he could wear his costume, a
District 113 spokeswoman said.
School officials were initially concerned the teen’s costume — a
toga, cross and crown of thorns — could be offensive to “religious
sensibilities.” After further review, they decided the student meant no
disrespect, District 113 spokeswoman Melinda Vajdic said.
Vajdic said the teen was not sent home from school and was allowed to
change back into his costume after officials evaluated the situation.
“Upon further review, we
realized the student did not intend to be offensive,” she said.
“Therefore, the school communicated to the student that he could wear
Vajdic said the student did change back into the costume. Neither the student nor a parent could be reached for comment.
On the student’s apparent Facebook page, a post dated Wednesday shows him wearing the costume.
“OH MY GOD(literally),” he wrote. “Please don't be afraid if u see BLACK JESUS munchin on some pasta tomorrow! HAPPY HALLOWEEN”
Among the Halloween costume guidelines District 113 officials shared
with students prior to Thursday were the prohibition of head coverings
or full face paint, as well as banning costumes that are provocative,
too revealing, or have questionable props — for example, dressing up as a
pimp or prostitute, or carrying items relating to sex, drugs, tobacco
In addition, the district warned students against wearing costumes
that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture,
gender, sexual orientation, heritage or religion.
The last spurred officials’ early concerns about the teen’s Jesus costume, the spokeswoman said.