School Claims Ten Commandments Monument Is Part Of 'Secular Display'

| by Michael Allen

Connellsville Junior High East in Pennsylvania has had a Ten Commandments monument on its property since 1957 when the Connellsville Fraternal Order of Eagles donated the statue.

However, in August 2012, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded the monument be taken down because it allegedly violated the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.

In response to the demands, the Connellsville Area School District covered the monument up with plywood.

“It's been here since 1957, and now we have to remove it,” Superintendent Dan Lujetic told at the time. “If we wanted to fight this, there's no way we would win.”

After outcry from Christians in the community, the school decided to allow the Ten Commandments monument stand without being covered. In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit in Sept. 2012 to have a federal court remove the statue.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a motion this week, asking a judge to rule on the monument, noted The Friendly Atheist.

"The federal courts have never found a display of the Ten Commandments in a public school or on its grounds to be constitutional," stated the Freedom From Religion Foundation in its filing.

The Connellsville Area School District also asked for a judgment and claimed in its filing, "The Eagles’ Monument is undeniably part of a secular display. The inscription of the Ten Commandments is simply one element in a display with an overall secular message…"

Sources:, The Friendly Atheist, Freedom From Religion Foundation
Image Credit: J. Williams