Religion

Sonoma State University Forces Student To Remove Cross Necklace

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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A California college student has filed a religious accommodation request after her university told her to remove a cross necklace out of fear that it might offend incoming students at the school.

According to The Blaze, Audrey Jarvis, 19, works on the Associated Students Productions crew at her school, Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif. She was working at a student orientation event when one of her supervisors pulled her aside and asked her to remove the necklace.

According to Jarvis’ lawyer, the supervisor told her “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.”

Understandably, Jarvis was troubled by what her supervisor said. She kept the cross on and continued working. When she came across her supervisor for a second time, she was asked to either hide the necklace under her shirt or remove it. Jarvis was so troubled by what she was being asked that she left work for the day.

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“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 said. “I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement – which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all – was violated.”

As noted by Fox News, her lawyer, Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute, says the university was in clear violation of California law by asking her to remove the necklace.

California law says that “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.”

The university has apologized for the event.

“It was absolutely an inappropriate action for him to make that request of her,” said a school representative. School president Ruben Arminana is trying to reach Jarvis to make an official apology to her. 

Sources: The Blaze, Fox News