Crucifixes in classrooms: Italians grapple with secularism

An Italian high school teacher continues to wage a legal battle against his employer after being suspended in 2014 for removing the crucifix from his classroom.

Franco Coppoli, who teaches literature and history in the Umbrian city of Terni, says he should have “the freedom not to teach under a religious symbol”.

The 56-year-old professor was suspended for a month without pay in 2015 for not respecting the rules and the will of the majority of students.

But being an active member of the Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR), Coppoli took the case to court.

After losing the first trial and the initial appeal, he then took his case to Italy’s supreme court.

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