Home > Public space > Germany > 2010-01-12 - High Administrative Court of Bavaria, n. 3 ZB 08.2634

2010-01-12 - High Administrative Court of Bavaria, n. 3 ZB 08.2634

Public space · Germany · Crucifix · Religious symbol

A teacher does not have the right to have crucifixes removed from classrooms where she teaches

Key facts of the case - The claimant works as a teacher in a public school, where there are crucifixes in every classroom. The teacher, as an atheist, wanted the crucifixes to be removed from the classrooms where she teaches. Art. 7 III S. 3 of the Bavarian Education Act provides mediation when there is opposition to the crucifixes in classrooms. This mediation had failed and accordingly a Court decision was necessary.

Main reasoning of the court - The Court had to find a balance between the teacher basic right to negative religious freedom (Art. 4 GG) and the principles of civil service (Art. 33 V GG). These principles contain the civil servants duty of allegiance and obedience, which obliges the civil servants to tolerate the crucifix in school.
The Court held that the crucifix does not have a missionary character but rather expresses the cultural and historical features of Bavaria. The teacher as a civil servant of the State (Land) has to accept and tolerate this. Therefore, the Court rules that the crucifixes do not have to be removed.