Teacher and school apologizes after forcing boy to remove religious symbol on Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday was this week and is the start of the Easter season. Christians all over the world celebrated the occasion by receiving ash markings in the form of a cross on their heads.

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

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

A Utah student went to school with his forehead marking but his teacher told him he had to remove it, KSTU-TV reports.

Fourth-grader William McLeod was happy to explain to his classmates what it meant and that he was Catholic.

“They put it on your forehead to show holiness,” McLeod said of the ashes.

According to himself, William was the only student in his 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,” McLeod said.

But the cross didn’t stay on William McLeod’s forehead very long.

Williams teacher told him it was not appropriate for school and proceeded to help him wipe it off with a sanitizing wipe.


“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'” McLeod said

The school principal contacted the boy’s family about the incident.

William’s grandmother, Karen Fisher, was not happy with how things were handled.

“I was pretty upset,” Fisher said.

The teacher also called her.

“I asked her if she read the Constitution with the First Amendment and she said, ‘No’ and ‘Ohhhh,'” Fisher said.

The Davis School District says what happened is not acceptable. There is not a problem with wearing this type of religious symbol, the schools says.

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Later in the day William received candy and a handwritten message from his teacher.

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

But even though she apologized to the boy, it is possible that the teacher may face disciplinary action.

William and his family hope this story will serve as a valuable learning experience.

“I hope it helps somebody and I hope it never happens again and I don’t think it will,” Fisher said.

And as you could see from the video, the little boy is still wearing the faded markings of his cross.

What do you think of this child’s experience? Have you ever encountered an issue with wearing religious symbols on the body to work or school?