CRECHE CASE IN THE COURTS
Catalyst December Issue 2003, Front Page
On November 13, oral arguments were heard in U.S. District Court regarding a lawsuit that maintains that the New York City school system discriminates against Christians. Suing the New York City schools is The Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Catholic League began the process and secured a complainant for the law firm.
The dispute originated in 2001, when a Catholic woman who teaches in the New York City public schools contacted the Catholic League complaining that her principal was inviting Jewish and Muslim teachers to bring religious symbols into the classroom in December to celebrate Hanukkah and Ramadan; Christian teachers were told they could bring secular symbols like the Christmas tree.
At first we thought this was an anomaly. But then we discovered it was the official policy of the Board of Education. A flurry of exchanges between William Donohue and the attorney for New York City schools ensued. Because the City would not budge, Donohue threatened to sue. He then spoke to Richard Thompson, president of The Thomas More Law Center, who said that if the league could secure a plaintiff, his firm would do the litigating.
After this was reported in Catalyst, we were contacted by league member Andrea Skoros. She lives in Queens, sends her children to public schools, was outraged over the City’s policy, and agreed to be party to the suit.
A decision by the judge could come at any time.