[Ed. – Imagine the heat the story would be generating if the child had been a Muslim forced by her teacher to remove her hijab.]
A teacher in the predominantly Mormon state of Utah was placed on administrative leave after she forced a Catholic student to wash off the Ash Wednesday cross from his forehead.
William McLeod, 9, had just returned to his school near Salt Lake City after attending Catholic Mass when his fourth-grade teacher called the ash marking “inappropriate” and gave him a hand wipe to clean it off in front of his classmates, grandmother Karen Fisher said.
At first William explained that he couldn’t remove it because it was important for the beginning of Easter, but eventually obliged, Fisher said.
“He went to see the school’s psychologist crying,” said Fisher. “He was embarrassed.”
The incident at Valley View Elementary in Bountiful, Utah, is being taken very seriously and an investigation into whether disciplinary action will be levied against William’s teacher has been opened, said Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams. In the meantime, she isn’t teaching, he said.
“The actions were unacceptable,” Williams said. “No student should ever be asked or required to remove an ash cross from his or her forehead.”