Italy’s highest court of appeal has ruled that public school classrooms can approve the presence of the crucifix because it does not discriminate against anyone.
The court specified, however, that all religious symbols can also be “welcomed” as long as it is decided in a democratic, civil and “gentle” manner by students and faculty together.
That means, it said, all decisions regarding their presence must never be imposed and must seek “reasonable accommodation” between the different positions or convictions of people in the school community that includes respecting a per-son’s freedom of and from religion; in essence, decisions can-not come by a “tyranny” of the majority or the veto-power of one individual.
Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation — the country’s court of last resort — released its 65-page brief explaining its decision Septem. 9 concerning an appeal against the display of the cruci-fix in the classrooms involving an Italian high school teacher whose claims were first rejected in a lower court in 2013 and in a court of appeals in 2014.
The full-time Italian literature teacher said his freedom of conscience was violated and he wanted the freedom to teach without the presence of a crucifix on the wall behind him.
According to court proceedings, the teacher would enter the classroom, take the crucifix down from the wall for the duration of his lesson and then rehang it when he was done teaching.