Religion

School Takes Down Jesus Portrait Over Lawsuit

| by Michael Allen
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A Jesus portrait (pictured) that had hung in a public school in Jackson City, Ohio, for a very long time was taken down on Wednesday because of a lawsuit.

The portrait has hung in the school since 1947, but Superintendent Phil Howard of the Jackson City School District said the school district's insurance company would not cover the lawsuit if they were to lose, reports HuffingtonPost.com.

Howard said the faculty adviser and two students of the Hi-Y Club, a Christian club that owns the portrait, took it down.

"At the end of the day, we just couldn't roll the dice with taxpayer money," Howard told The Associated Press. "When you get into these kinds of legal battles, you're not talking about money you can raise with bake sales and car washes. It's not fair to take those resources from our kids' education."

"Obviously, the majority of people in our community wanted it to stay up somewhere in the school district," Howard added. "This all happened so fast, I don't know that anybody has had time to digest it."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Freedom from Religion Foundation had filed a lawsuit that claimed the Jesus portrait was an unconstitutional promotion of religion in a public school.

"The case is still open, there was no actual ruling," ACLU spokesman Nick Worner said.

Hiram Sasser, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, which helped defend the school, said the Hi-Y Club could file its own lawsuit to display the Jesus portrait.

Sources: HuffingtonPost.com and The Associated Press

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