FREMONT, NE (CNN) - Elizabeth Carey, 12, wore a rosary necklace to school only to be punished for violating her school's dress code.
"The principal said I couldn't wear my necklace at all because gangsters were wearing it," said Carey, who attends Fremont Middle School in Fremont, Neb.
Superintendent Dr. Steve Sexton says the dress code is for the students' safety.
"We had information from law enforcement that there were documented instances of gang activity in the area and we also had information that stated that the rosary was being used as a symbol of gang affiliation," said Dr. Sexton.
Carey says she wants to wear the necklace as a symbol of her faith.
"I'm thinking about how Jesus died on the cross and how he gave up all his sins for us," Carey said.
Omaha Catholic Archdiocese Chancellor Father Joseph Taphorn is disgusted with gangs' use of the rosary and is saddened that the rosary is not permitted in the middle school.
"I don't think Christians should have to sort of forfeit what is a symbol of the love of Christ for us and our commitment to be disciple because a few people want to misuse that symbol," Father Taphorn said.
Carey says she does not know what a gang is and will continue to show her faith by making a statement with her wardrobe.
"I'm wearing a cross necklace and a cross t-shirt and a cross bracelet," Carey said.