Utah student forced to remove Ash Wednesday cross


A Utah teacher is apologizing after she didn’t allow one of her students to wear a religious symbol at school. 

Like millions of Catholics and Christians around the world, William McLeod received an ash cross on his forehead to commemorate Ash Wednesday.  

But the boy’s teacher made him wipe it off when he got to school. 

McLeod was the only student in his fourth-grade class with an ash cross on his forehead. 

“A lot of students asked me what it is. I said I’m Catholic, it’s the first day of lent, it’s Ash Wednesday,” William told KSTU.  

But the cross didn’t stay on his forehead very long. 

“The teacher walked over and said like, ‘What is that?’ and I was like it’s Ash Wednesday and I’m Catholic. It’s the first day of lent and [she] was like, ‘No it’s inappropriate, go take it off.'” 

His attempt to explain the meaning of the symbol fell on deaf ears. 

“She took me aside and she said, ‘You have to take it off.’ So she gave me a de-infection wipe – whatever they are called – and she made me wipe it off.” 

William says it happened as many of his classmates watched.  

“They saw the teacher wipe it off because they wiped it off in front of all my friends…I felt like, really bad.” 

The teacher and the school principal called William’s grandmother as soon as she learned of the incident. Later in the day, the teacher sent William a handwritten note along with some candy as an apology. 

“It said ‘William I am so sorry I hope we can move things from here,'” William told KSTU.   

The Davis School District says what happened is not acceptable and they are investigating the incident. The teacher could face disciplinary action. 

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