updated 2/21/2007 10:23:36 PM ET 2007-02-22T03:23:36

A 10-year-old boy who said he was not allowed to wear a Jesus costume during his school's Halloween activities sued the district, alleging that his religious and free-speech rights were violated.

The complaint, filed in federal court Tuesday, says officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside told the boy Oct. 31 that he could not wear his faux crown of thorns or tell others he was dressed as Jesus.

The boy, who is not identified because of his age, and his mother are Christians who object to the pagan elements of Halloween.

The school's principal, Patricia Whitmire, told the boy's mother that the costume violated a policy prohibiting the promotion of religion, according to the lawsuit.

The suit was filed on behalf of the boy and his mother by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The boy no longer attends Willow Hill.

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