California University Promises to Investigate Ordering Student to Remove Cross Necklace

ICC Note: Sonoma State University in California has said it will investigate why a school official ordered Audrey Jarvis, a young Christian student, to remove or hide her cross necklace while working at a student orientation fair earlier this year. Audrey was told she had to remove or hide the the necklace because it “might offend someone.” After being told a second time to remove her cross necklace, Audrey left the orientation. Last week she filed a religious accommodation request with the university.  The incident is just one of many across the United States in recent years that indicates a growing intolerance for the Christian faith, especially in public settings. 

11/6/2013 United States (Charisma) – Monday, Liberty Institute attorneys met with officials at Sonoma State University on behalf of its client, student Audrey Jarvis, whom a university official asked to hide or remove her cross necklace because it “might offend someone.”

“The University said they are now investigating this religious discrimination issue and they are taking it very seriously,” explains Liberty Institute Director of Litigation Hiram Sasser. “At the conclusion of the investigation, we hope to receive a letter of apology as well as a written assurance that Audrey can continue to wear her cross.”

Jarvis, a 19-year-old liberal arts major, was working for the university’s Associated Students Production (ASP) organization at a student orientation fair when her supervisor asked her to remove the necklace.

The supervisor told Jarvis that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items and said the cross necklace “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.”

Her supervisor approached her a second time and told her to put the cross under her shirt or remove it. Jarvis, a devout Catholic, was so upset about the incident that she left the student fair early.

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