A school is forced to remove a Jesus portrait after an "atheist lawsuit" found them on the losing end. On Oct. 7, the Christian Post reported that the Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio will also have to pay about $100,000 in legal fees following a settlement with the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a Wisconsin group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The portrait called "Head of Christ" (which is a very popular religious picture) had been hanging in the school's "Hall of Honor" since 1947 according to the report. Now, a judge decided that the portrait "violated the student's constitutional rights" and that it must be taken down.
The school forced to remove the Jesus portrait didn't feel as though the portrait violated any rights. "It did not endorse one religion over another, and was not school-endorsed 'governmental speech,' the district said" (via Christian Post). However, the school must remove the framed piece and they must pay for the case's legal fees which total about $95,000.
"The district intended to fight the lawsuit, but after their insurance company refused to pay for legal costs and damages, administrators had little choice but settle," Christian Post reported. The school decided that taking the portrait down was a better option than taking a gamble and filing an appeal which would have been both time-consuming and costly.
Should the school be forced to remove a Jesus portrait? Do you think religion should be left out of public schools completely?
© Effie Orfanides 2013