European court rules against crucifixes in classrooms
The French newspaper Le Monde reports that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that crucifixes in Italian classrooms violated the rights of parents to bring up their children according to their own beliefs, therefore infringing on their religious liberty.
The Italian government defended the crucifixes saying that their presence in classrooms was natural, as it was not only a religious symbol but also a symbol of the Italian state.
Strasbourg’s judges said that the a cross or crucifix can easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages a religious sign and can be disturbing for students of other religious convictions or atheists. The court unanimously ruled that this violated article 2 of protocol 1 (right to instruction) as well as article 9 of the convention (freedom of though, conscience and religion) and allocated 5,000 euros to the claimants for moral damages.