Her parents said they were floored. Elizabeth said she wouldn't stop wearing the cross in necklaces or on her clothes.
Wouldn't any parent be upset about their child being punished for wearing a rosary, or dying his hair pink in support of breast cancer research?
Buie said there are plenty of times when a call home to parents results in the recitation of the First Amendment. It's a relatively new challenge for educators, he said.
"Now we have parents that are more likely to support and defend their children as being the ones that are correct," he said. "If we've done something wrong, (parents) are going to come to us and let us know that we need to change or look at doing something differently --15, 20 years ago, that wasn't the case."
Explaining the dress code and why a child was told to change, leave school or even face suspension doesn't stop parents from being offended when their kids are punished, Buie said, or from glaring when he sees them at the grocery store.
While students have the right to free speech, it's the school's job to teach children that they can't infringe on someone else's rights, he said.
"Those are things that are taught in schools," he said, "accepting differences."