A Highland Park High School student dressed as Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 31, a day costumes are welcome and widely worn, was questioned about the propriety of his outfit today for violating a school policy that prohibits attire that is offensive or perpetuates a stereotype, according to Township High School District 113 Communications Director Melinda Vajdic.
According to a story in the Chicago Sun Times Marshon Sanders was sent home for violating that school policy. He was never sent home, but questioned by school officials and sent back to class, according to a spokesperson for the school.
The costume included a crown of thorns, a toga and a cross, according to a statement from Highland Park High School.
Sanders went to school dressed as Jesus—he wore a “Snoop Dog" costume last year without issue—and was called to the office, according to the Sun Times. His mother, Angenetta Frison, told her son to dress as someone inspiring or uplifting.
After talking to Sanders, the school decided his costume did not violate policy. “We initially were concerned that the costume could be offensive to religious sensibilities,” the school said in the statement. “Upon further review, we realized the student did not intend to be offensive. Therefore, the school communicated to the student that he could wear the costume.”
“My son Marshon Sanders was sent to the dean’s office for an 'offensive' costume,” Frison said to ABC Channel 7 news. “There are Mormons, priests, mosses (sic), and such walking around the building with no issues.”
Frison told ABC she has taught her son to respect great people. She considers Jesus Christ a great figure and felt there was nothing “provocative or demeaning” about the outfit. She also said her son was not given a reason why he was being asked to remove what he was wearing.
Earlier versions of this story on Highland Park Patch relied on reports from other media outlets which turned out to be incorrect.