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Education


The ACLU is suing a southeastern Ohio school district over its Jesus portrait
The group argues that the display amounts to an endorsement of Christianity by a government body
by WKSU's OZIE IKUENOBE

Reporter
Ozie Ikuenobe
 

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom from Religion Foundation are suing Jackson City Schools for continuing to display a portrait of Jesus in the middle school.

The complaint was filed on behalf of parents and a middle school student who disagree with the display of the picture. The ACLU of Ohio says the picture, which has been up for 65 years, is a constitutional violation because it endorses a specific religion in a public school.

Nick Worner, a spokesman for the ACLU, says religion is something that is personal and should be left outside of the government.

Worner on the religious portrait

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“Religious belief, the lack of religious belief, will always be an important tradition for individuals, for families and for entire communities. The one thing it’s not is a government tradition. The government has a different tradition and a different requirement and that’s to remain completely neutral in matters of religion. That is one of our first requirements of our government. It’s a bedrock constitutional principle.”

Jackson Superintendent Phil Howard released a statement saying the district is surprised to hear about the lawsuit, and has not yet been served.

The district is in Southeast Ohio.

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