BOUNTIFUL, Utah — A fourth-grade teacher who told a student to wipe off an Ash Wednesday cross is now back on the job.
The teacher, Moana Patterson, has now returned to the classroom at Valley View Elementary. The Davis School District says they investigated the situation, followed policy and took action. They won’t discuss the details though.
But the statement says the principal will work with the district’s Educational Equity Department to provide any additional training.
This happened on March 6th.
“When the teacher saw it, she came over and said, ‘what is that,’” William McLeod told KSL. “I was like, ‘I’m Catholic and it’s for Ash Wednesday’ and she’s like, ‘no, that’s inappropriate in our school—go wash it off!’”
“I went to the office and I was crying because I felt like I was in trouble,” McLeod said.
Patterson was then placed on administrative leave, but McLeod says she apologized to him that day.
“I accept her apology, because she’s actually a really nice teacher,” he said.
Patterson gave a press conference later that week saying, “My entire life has been centered around respecting diversity. I would never ever intentionally disrespect any religion or sacred symbol,” she said, while surrounded by students and parents. “It was a complete misunderstanding.”
Those students and parents said they agreed that it was an honest mistake.
The Davis School district says they are moving forward and will not be providing further comments.
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