Administrators and students are negotiating the placement of a plaque, listing the Ten Commandments, at a Marion, Ohio, high school and one student has gone on strike until an agreement is reached.
“I don't care about my grades right now,” Anthony Miller, a freshman at Harding High School, told The Marion Star.
He said he is attending classes but not doing his homework.
“I told the principal, until there is an agreement reached, I will not participate in any Harding-related activities, any Marion City Schools-related activities,” he said. “Sports, choir, classes, whatever. I won't even wear my Harding Marching Band shirt.”
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Fox News reports the plaque was a gift from the school’s class of 1953. For years the plaque hung in a hallway alongside a copy of the United States Constitution.
Principal Kirk Koennecke asked in August that the plaque be taken down, Marion City Schools Superintendent Gary Barber said.
Barber said several people had questioned the school’s decision to display the Ten Commandments and insisted the decision to take them down was “not made arbitrarily.”
“Our responsibility, when we're challenged, is we do what's in line with the law,” Barber said.
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Barber and Miller met last week to discuss terms for reaching an agreement. A news release said the pair will meet again Jan. 6 to begin their full discussions.
Barber said he will meet with the students and area ministers to discuss a solution and find a new home for the plaque.
Miller said that, in the meantime, he will stay on strike and continue to circulate a petition asking that the plaque be replaced. Students Shanna Morris, Cheyenne Abrams and Sydney Cook started the petition after they covered the story in the Harding Herald, the school paper.
Barber and Koennecke both said Miller won’t face any punishment for his protest as long as he does not disrupt the school day.