Elizabeth Carey, 12, said Fremont Public School officials informed her that a school dress code adopted last year bans rosary necklaces, KETV, Omaha, Neb., reported Tuesday.
School superintendent Steve Sexton said the policy is intended for student safety.
"We had information from law enforcement that there were documented instances of gang activity in the area and we had information that the rosary was being used as a symbol of gang affiliation," Sexton said.
Rev. Joseph Taphorn, chancellor of Omaha's Catholic Archdiocese, called the school policy disheartening.
"I don't think Christians should have to forfeit what is the symbol for the love of Christ because a few people want to misuse that symbol," he said.