A traditional Easter bun has caused one school to get a bit hot – but not cross – where political correctness is concerned.
For fear of offending the religious minorities at The Oaks Primary School in Ipswich, headteacher Tina Jackson has asked suppliers to remove the cross from their hot cross buns.
But Father Haley Dossor, vicar at St Mary-at-the-Elms in Ipswich’s Elm Street, said he feels it is political correctness gone a bit too far.
He said: “All religions have particular traditions, habits and customs and this is one of the traditions of the Church of England.
“I would be surprised if anyone was offended. It seems to me people in the secular world are scared of religious symbols. The school is quite wrong. All religions should respect each other.”
However Miss Jackson from the Aster Road school defended the decision to turn the hot cross bun into a simple currant bun.
She said: “The buns were served as pudding on Tuesday we could have had iced buns or hot cross buns.
“Obviously the hot cross bun is a celebration of Easter but it is not Easter yet.
“The cross is there in recognition of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ but for our students who are Jehovah Witnesses hot cross buns are not part of their beliefs.
“We decided to ask to have the cross removed in respect of their beliefs. It was just a currant bun.”
One concerned observer, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have never heard of anything so ridiculous. Since when have hot cross buns been offensive?”
Albert Berwick, a minister with the Ipswich Cavendish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said the buns would indeed be offensive to members.
He said: “I can understand why the school has done this and I support the decision. Hot cross buns are a pagan symbol of fertility no different to bunnies, eggs and Easter.
“They are representative of the Christian faith. The bible states we should not worship things of a pagan origin.”
A spokeswoman for the Local education Authority – Suffolk County Council – said: “We have not issued any guidelines on hot cross buns. It is not something the LEA would get involved in.”