By Tammy Vigil
Loveland, CO (KDVR/CNN) - A Colorado high school is under fire over its decision to strip a student of his rosary beads, not once, but twice.
The student says school leaders never gave him a reason why.
"They tell me I can't wear them," said Manuel Vigil.
Manuel wears rosary beads to protect himself from harm.
"That's typically not what we want for a safe environment for school," said Margaret Crespo, a district spokesperson.
The school district thinks the religious necklace could harm students, so twice in three weeks the confiscated his rosary beads.
The district says they can be affiliated with gangs and disrupt learning.
[Reporter]: "Are you in a gang?"
"No. I`m not in a gang," said Manuel.
[Reporter]: "You`re a good student."
"I'm a good student," said Manuel.
The 16-year-old says he and his family are strong Catholics.
"I use them for prayer. I feel safe when I have them on," said Manuel.
The district says it gave the junior options before seizing the beads.
"We've given you two opportunities to take it off or to put it inside your shirt. That`s not something you're interested in doing, you're not giving us an alternative than to remove it," said Crespo.
Manuel says he only got a demand.
"If he would have given me that option, I would have put it in my shirt," said Manuel.
His classmates agree putting a bad label on a good symbol is wrong.
Manuel says it's ironic he's getting in trouble for being a good and faithful person.
"I could see if I was out doing gang activity, but I`ve never been in trouble with the law, never been in trouble at school," he said.
So far, Manuel has been unable to get his beads back from the school.