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School services allowed for two more Sundays

A 10-day court order allows churches two more Sundays to worship in schools.

Churches can meet for two more Sundays in city schools, according to a new court order announced today.

In a continuing battle between the Bronx Household of Faith and the city’s Department of Education, the Bronx Household of Faith’s attorneys said today they won a court order allowing churches to continue meeting.

The Department of Education gave churches until Feb. 12 to stop using the schools after a U.S. appeals court confirmed the DOE's right to prohibit the worship services.

Many churches expected Sunday to be their last day of school services.

“This court order is a fantastic victory,” said Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who has been pushing for a state bill that would restore services to schools.

The 10-day order, which allows churches to meet while the court considers arguments in the case, means two more Sundays in the schools, according to Cabrera’s office.

Jonathan Pines, city lawyer at the NYC Law Department, said they will file an appeal.



"This last-minute decision disrupts plans that both the city and congregations worked out months ago," he said.

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, who supports the ban, said, “I remain confident the court will uphold the constitutional separation of church and state, which is violated when public schools are used as houses of worship.”

 
 
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