Audrey Jarvis | Cases | First Liberty

Supervisor Tells College Student to Hide or Remove Cross Necklace

In 2013, Audrey Jarvis, a 19-year-old student at Sonoma State University and a devout Catholic, was working for the university’s Associated Students Production (“ASP”) organization at a student orientation fair. At the event, her supervisor asked her to remove her cross necklace.

The supervisor told Audrey 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.”

The supervisor approached Audrey a second time and told her to put the cross under her shirt or remove it. Audrey was so upset by the incident that she left the student orientation fair early.

Legal Action

With the assistance of First Liberty attorneys, Audrey filed a religious accommodation request with the university.

Sonoma State University spokeswoman Susan Kashack admitted to Fox News that the incident did occur and that the supervisor was “completely wrong” in his actions.

School officials did the right thing and launched an investigation into the incident. In July 2013, the president of Sonoma State University issued a formal apology to Audrey.

First Liberty is seeing more and more cases of anti-religious discrimination throughout America’s schools. Secularist groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) have created a culture of fear in many of America’s public schools. From elementary schools to large universities, some officials are so afraid of potential lawsuits that they violate the constitutional rights of students and staff to freely express their faith.

The U.S. Constitution and well established legal precedent guarantee strong religious liberty protections for students and school staff—and these rights do not stop at the “schoolhouse gate” (Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 1969). Audrey Jarvis’s case shows that when people of faith take a stand and receive expert legal help, hostility to religious expression can be defeated and religious liberty protected..

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To The American Legion:

As a grateful citizen, I support your effort to honor those who have fallen in battle and to keep the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial standing as a visible reminder of valor, sacrifice, endurance, and devotion.

Veterans memorials like the one in Bladensburg, MD are symbols reminding us of the sacrifice of our service members and the cost of war. Tearing down the Bladensburg Memorial would erase the memory of the 49 fallen heroes of Prince George’s County—like they never even existed.

We cannot allow the Bladensburg Memorial to be bulldozed.

Please know that you have my support and backing in your petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.