A Utah school district is investigating after a fourth-grade boy said his teacher forced him to wash the cross marking Ash Wednesday off of his forehead.
William McLeod, a fourth-grader at Valley View Elementary School in Bountiful, told a local Fox affiliate that his teacher ordered him to remove the cross from his forehead as soon as she saw it Wednesday morning.
“The teacher walked over and said, ‘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,’ ” William recalled.
“She took me aside and she said, ‘You have to take it off,’” he said. “So she gave me a disinfection wipe — whatever they are called — and she made me wipe it off.”
“I felt, like, really bad,” the boy added.
Karen Fisher, William’s grandmother, said she found out about the incident after receiving two separate phone calls from the school’s principal and the teacher.
“I was pretty upset,” Ms. Fisher said.
The Davis School District apologized for the teacher’s alleged actions.
“Why that even came up, I have no idea,” Chris Williams, a spokesperson for the district, told Fox. “When a student comes into school with ashes on their forehead, it’s not something that we say, ‘Please take off.’ “
William said he received a handwritten apology and candy from his teacher.
“It said, ‘William, I am so sorry I hope we can move things from here,’ ” he said.
The school district said the teacher could face disciplinary action.
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