Schoolhouse Beat

Ohio district vows to fight to keep Jesus painting on display

The school board in Jackson, Ohio, has decided to go to court to defend the continued display of a painting of Jesus that has hung in a middle school hallway for 66 years. The Columbus Dispatch says that board members contend that HI-Y, a student club, owns the painting — not the school district — and that its display is legal as “private speech.” Last week, an unidentified student and two parents sued the district and contended the painting of Jesus is an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity. The board has adopted a policy acknowledging a “limited public forum” that permits student groups to own and display portraits of “inspirational figures” at the high school and middle school, where the Jesus painting now hangs. A spokesman for ACLU of Ohio says board’s action does not change the status of the Jesus painting as an unconstitutional government blessing of one religion.

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