A Salt Lake City teacher was put on administrative leave after forcing a 9-year-old Catholic boy to use a disinfectant wipe to remove ashes from his forehead on Ash Wednesday. His grandmother told local media that he was left “crying and embarrassed” after the teacher reprimanded him and sent him to the principal’s office for coming to school with the Catholic ritual’s symbol on his forehead. “We take the matter very seriously and are investigating the situation,” the Davis School district spokesman told USA Today. “We are sorry about what happened and apologize to the student and the family for the teacher’s actions. The actions were unacceptable. No student should ever be asked or required to remove an ash cross from his or her forehead.” The school later had a Catholic deacon re-administer the ashes, which are part of a solemn ceremony that marks the first day of Lent for Roman Catholics.
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