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Friday, 15 November 2013 07:47

UPDATE: E. Muskingum issues decision on Jesus portrait

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Board votes to remove picture from John Glennn High School wall

 

UPDATE:

NEW CONCORD, Ohio -- Facing a potential lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, the East Muskingum Local Schools Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday night to remove a picture of Jesus Christ, entitled "the Good Shepherd", from an office wall in John Glenn High School.
The board heard from many who wanted to make a statement regarding the controversial portrait and then went into executive session to discuss the matter. Around 300 people attended the school board meeting, with a large number of those speaking in favor of leaving the image hanging on the wall and facing the possible ACLU lawsuit.
ACLU spokesman Nick Worner previously stated that the organization had asked the district to remove the picture from school property. Worner stated that, if officials decided not to remove the picture, the ACLU intended to look at all potential options.
The picture of Jesus came to public attention earlier this year after a high school student asked for it to be removed. A student initially was upset about the school's decision to remove a “Gay is Okay” t-shirt from a school display case, contending that restrictions of free speech were not being equally enforced.
East Muskingum’s battle mirrors a situation involving the Jackson City School District, which in October agreed to pay $95,000 in damages and permanently remove a portrait of Jesus from its property.
The picture will be donated to the Rix Mills Presbyterian Church.

 

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ORIGINAL STORY:
NEW CONCORD, Ohio — Officials of the East Muskingum Local Schools have to decide Thursday whether they want to remove a portrait of Jesus from the high school office or face a potential lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Nick Worner, ACLU of Ohio communications coordinator, said that the organization has asked the district to remove the picture from school property. Worner stated that, if officials decide to remove the picture, that will be the end of the situation. If not, the ACLU intends to look at all potential options.
District officials previously asked for time to discuss the matter and vote on the issue at the board meeting. The board meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at John Glenn High School.
East Muskingum Superintendent Jill Johnson declined to comment, citing pending legal issues.
The picture of Jesus came to public attention earlier this year after a high school student asked for it to be removed. A student initially was upset about the school's decision to remove a “Gay is Okay” t-shirt from a school display case, contending that restrictions of free speech were not being equally enforced.
East Muskingum’s battle mirrors a situation involving the Jackson City School District, which in October agreed to pay $95,000 in damages and permanently remove a portrait of Jesus from its property to settle a lawsuit file by ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

 

 

Last modified on Friday, 15 November 2013 16:29
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