Home >> Religion >> Utah Teacher Taking Heat After Making Fourth Grader Scrub Off His Lenten Ashes

Utah Teacher Taking Heat After Making Fourth Grader Scrub Off His Lenten Ashes


A Utah fourth-grade boy in Utah said his teacher made him remove Lent ashes from his forehead Wednesday, and the school district is apologizing.

William McLeod was explaining to his classmates that the Ash Wednesday mark showed holiness. He also tried to explain the mark to his Valley View Elementary School teacher, but she did not listen, Fox 13 Salt Lake City reported Wednesday.

“She took me aside and she said, ‘You have to take it off,’” Valley View Elementary School student William McLeod said to Fox 13.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent when Catholics mark themselves with ash to reflect on repentance and fasting during the season.

McLeod was the only student in his class wearing the ashes and the incident occurred in front of other students.

“Why that even came up, I have no idea,” Davis School District spokesperson Chris Williams said, Fox 13 reported. “When a student comes in to school with ashes on their forehead, it’s not something we say ‘Please take off.’”

McLeod’s grandmother Karen Fisher was upset.

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“I asked her if she read the Constitution with the First Amendment, and she said, no,” Fisher said, according to Fox 13.

The teacher gave a handwritten apology and candy to McLeod. The school in investigating the incident and the teacher could face punishment, Fox 13 reported.

Proselytizing is not allowed in public schools, but students can voluntarily pray or express religious viewpoints as long as it does not disrupt the school day or the learning environment for other students, according to The American Civil Liberties Union.

DSD did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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