University Tells Student to Remove Cross Necklace Because it Might Be “Offensive”
A Sonoma State University student was ordered to remove a cross necklace by a supervisor who thought other students might find it offensive, in a case that prompted even one campus official to speculate that “political correctness got out of hand.”
Audrey Jarvis, 19, a liberal arts major at the northern California university, said she had no choice but to seek a “religious accommodation” in order to wear the cross. Her lawyer said she deserves an apology, and the school seems ready to oblige.
“It’s amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination,” said Hiram Sasser, an attorney with Liberty Institute, which is representing Jarvis.
Jarvis was working for the university’s Associated Students Productions at a June 27 student orientation fair for incoming freshmen when her supervisor told her to remove the two-inch-long cross necklace, according to Sasser.
Sasser said the supervisor told her that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items and further explained “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join.”
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