LOCAL NEWS

Teacher Apologizes For ‘Total Misunderstanding’ On Ash Wednesday

Mar 11, 2019, 7:03 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Bountiful Elementary school teacher who told a student to wipe off a holy cross symbol on Ash Wednesday spoke out for the first time Monday.

Moana Patterson, who teaches 4th grade at Valley View Elementary School, was surrounded by dozens of students, parents and Utah State Senator Todd Weiler at the capitol as she spoke about what she says happened last Wednesday when she told William McLeod, 9, to wipe off his cross.

“A student came into my classroom with what appeared to be dirt on his forehead. I gave him a wet wipe to clean it off. I had no idea it was a religious symbol,” she said. “When I learned it was a sacred symbol for Ash Wednesday, I immediately apologized to the boy and his family. My entire life has been centered around respecting diversity. I would never ever intentionally disrespect any religion or any sacred symbol. It was a total misunderstanding. I hope we can move forward and build understanding together.”

The Davis School District put Patterson, who has been teaching at Valley View for three years, on paid administrative leave. They told KSL last week that her actions were unacceptable and the matter is under investigation.

Patterson did send an apology letter to William, who spoke to KSL last week. He said he accepted the apology.

After Monday’s press conference, William’s father, Gary Mcleod, told KSL that he doesn’t accept Patterson’s statement. He says his son told her what that symbol was.

“He explained to her it was Ash Wednesday, it was from church and he was not allowed to take it off,” he said. “When my son explains to you that’s what it is you at least call a supervisor or somebody. Don’t force him to remove it in front of his class”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Mountain Green Fire Protection District)...
Josh Ellis

Pilot walks away from Morgan County plane crash

Authorities say a pilot "miraculously" walked away from a plane crash in Morgan County.
7 hours ago
Salt Lake city Fire at the vacant home. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Firefighters extinguish fire at vacant Salt Lake City house

First responders took down a fire at a vacant and boarded-up house Sunday evening. 
1 day ago
Trent Anderson and his 27-year-old horse, Duncan during the parade before the car hit them....
Shelby Lofton

EXCLUSIVE: Car crashes through barricades, hits horse and rider during Christmas parade

A man and his horse are recovering after being hit by an alleged DUI driver during a Spanish Fork Christmas Parade Saturday night.
1 day ago
A trailer rollover blocks two left lanes of I-15. (Utah Department of Transportation)...
Michael Houck

Trailer rollover blocks portion of I-15, suspect in police custody

A person is in custody after attempting to flee the scene of a car crash involving a trailer Saturday afternoon, police say.
1 day ago
Massive blue ice sculptures with a starry sky....
Brooke Williams

Ice castles are constructed by hand one icicle at a time

Cold temperatures means construction on the Ice Castles at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center has officially begun, and it's coming together one icicle at a time.
1 day ago
Customers looking around for trees to purchase. (KSL-TV)...
Erin Cox

Utah farmers say real Christmas trees prices continue to rise

Utahns looking for a real Christmas tree may notice a few extra dollars to the price tag compared to past years.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Teacher Apologizes For ‘Total Misunderstanding’ On Ash Wednesday