A Sonoma State University official ordered a student working at a freshman orientation event to remove or hide a cross necklace twice.
The official, who remains unnamed, was afraid that other students would be offended by the Christian symbol.
The first incident took place at the public school in Northern California on June 27, reports Fox News.
An orientation supervisor warned Audrey Jarvis that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items on campus.
He was referring to Timothy P. White, chancellor for the entire 23-school California State University system.
Hiram Sasser, Jarvis’ attorney, stated the supervisor told Jarvis, who is a Catholic, “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome.”
The Sonoma State University 19-year-old student was shocked by the request.
“I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else,” she told Fox News. “I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement, which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all, was violated.”
Jarvis was asked to remove her cross necklace yet again, at which time she left her orientation job earlier than it was scheduled to conclude.
Sasser has labeled the incident as “obvious religious discrimination” and is seeking an apology from the institution.
“State employees may wear crosses while they are performing their duties as long as the wearing does not interfere with the employees’ duties or harm the employer’s business interests,” Sasser quoted State Law.
University spokeswoman, Susan Kashack, stated,
“It was absolutely an inappropriate action for him to make that request of her.”
“It’s possible that political correctness got out of hand.” added SSU President Ruben Arminana.
Do you think the official at Sonoma State University was wrong in asking the student to remove her cross?
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