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Polish students boycott classes in 'crosses' protest

Hundreds of students Wednesday boycotted classes at the school where the Polish military regime first touched off an escalating ''war of the crosses'' with the Roman Catholic Church.

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The school, shut down by the headmaster following angry student protests March 7, was reopened Wednesday, but only to students who signed statements saying they would not protest the ban on crucifixes in state schools. The school is located in the village of Mietne outside of Garwolin, which is 40 miles southeast of Warsaw.

In other developments, Bishop Jan Mazur, who is fasting on bread and water, Wednesday briefed Poland's highest church executive body on the crucifix ban, church sources said. Bishop Mazur, a leading churchman in Poland, began his fast Tuesday and vowed to continue as long as the ban on crosses was enforced.

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