European Court Bans Crucifixes in Italian Public Schools
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
STRASBOURG, France — Europe's court of human rights ruled Tuesday the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms under the continent's rights convention.
The ruling, which could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools, rejected arguments by Italy's government that the crucifix was a national symbol of culture, history and identity, tolerance and secularism.
A seven-judge panel sided with a complaint filed by Soile Lautsi, a parent of two children, who claimed public schools in her northern Italian town eight years ago refused to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms.
The ruling awarded $7,390 in damages to Lautsi, which the Italian government will pay her. The court, however, did not order Italian authorities to remove the crucifixes
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