Schoolhouse Beat

Jackson (Ohio) district gives up fight, removes portrait of Jesus from school hallway

Fearful of the costs of a legal fight, the Jackson City (Ohio) school district has removed a painting of Jesus that has hung in its schools since 1947. The Columbus Dispatch says district officials ordered the portrait removed from a high school hallway out of fear that it could be ordered to pay significant legal fees and costs if it lost a lawsuit brought by two parents and a student. A student club had displayed the painting of Jesus in what is now Jackson Middle School since 1947 and recently moved it to the high school. The district had asserted that the portrait of Jesus was private student speech and not school-endorsed “governmental speech.” The lawsuit contended display of the portrait was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

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