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Utah teacher who had student remove Ash Wednesday cross returns to work

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Officials say a Utah teacher who asked a student to wipe an ash cross from his forehead has returned to work.

KUTV reports that the Davis County School District says fourth-grade teacher Moana Patterson has “returned to the classroom” after she says she gave 9-year-old Catholic student William McLeod a wet wipe earlier this month to clean off the cross, not knowing it was a religious symbol.

The district issued a statement apologizing to the family, saying the district knows and recognizes Ash Wednesday as one of the holiest days of the year in the Catholic faith and that it marks the beginning of Lent.

Patterson was placed on administrative leave following the incident.

The principal of Valley View Elementary School will be working with the district’s Educational Equity Department to provide additional training to educators.

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