Mother Files Lawsuit Against NYC Public School to Allow Nativity Scene

( [email protected] ) Dec 06, 2003 10:20 AM EST

Queens, N.Y. – A mother, Andrea Skoros, filed a lawsuit against the New York City public school after learning her children's school's policy of banning the display of nativity scenes; her case complains unlawful discrimination as the public schools allow displays of Jewish menorah and Islamic crescent star.

Andrea Skoros filed the lawsuit, along with her two sons Nicholas and Christo, Brooklyn federal Judge Charles Sifton held a procedural conference on the suit and is waiting for the ban to be overturned.

"I felt that it is only fair if they are going to display the menorah, which is a religious symbol, that they also display the Nativity scene instead of just snowmen and stockings and Christmas trees," said Skoros according to news reports.

While school officials wouldn’t discuss the lawsuit, legal briefs filed by the city's Department of Education said it has "drawn an appropriate line between secular holiday decorations and those that are purely religious."

The officials argue the nativity scene violates a “constitutional separation of church and state” since it explicitly depicts Jesus as the son of God. Officials chose a Christmas tree to symbolize the holiday, but Skoros claims this a double standard.

"It's a matter of what's fair," Skoros said. "The menorah is a religious symbol. The crescent star is a religious symbol. A Christmas tree is not."