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Feb 21, 2006

Federal court allows schools' Jewish and Muslim symbols, bans Christian nativity
Associated Press (via fortwayne.com) ^ | Thu, Feb. 09, 2006 | Associated Press
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1575478/posts

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld New York City's policy on school holiday displays, which allows symbols of Jewish and Muslim holidays but prohibits Christian nativity scenes. Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas trees are permitted.

The 2-1 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge, who said allowing secular symbols neither advanced nor inhibited religion.

The appeals court said no objective observer would believe the city wanted to communicate to its million-plus students "any official endorsement of Judaism and Islam or any dismissal of Christianity." Instead, the court said, the purpose was to use holidays to encourage respect for diverse cultural traditions.

Dissenting Judge Chester Straub objected that the policy "utilizes religious symbols of certain religions, but bans the religious symbols of another."

The original case was filed by Andrea Skoros, a Roman Catholic mother of two sons who attended public schools, who said the policy promotes Judaism and Islam while conveying disapproval of Christianity. Her purpose was not to bar Jewish and Muslim symbols but to have schools add Nativity scenes.

Skoros' lawyer plans to ask the full 2nd Circuit to review the case or, if that fails, to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Posted: Feb 21, 2006 8:17am

 

 
 
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