Jesus portrait forced off school wall by ACLU lawsuit

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Jesus has left the building. That’s the fate of a portrait of the savior of Christian faithful at one Ohio school, after the American Civil Liberties Union launched a lawsuit and demanded its removal.

As part of the settlement, and to keep out of court, the Jackson City School District agreed to keep the portrait of Jesus Christ off campus and to pay a $95,000 fine to the civil liberties group, to cover the costs of attorneys, legal filings and damages, Fox News reported.

The portrait has hung on the school walls since 1947, as part of a “Hall of Honor” display to highlight famous figures in history.

But the ACLU and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation said in February, in legal filings, that the school was guilty of “unconstitutional” actions and that students and visitors “will continue to suffer permanent, severe and irreparable harm and injury” if the portrait is allowed to remain.

The Texas-based Liberty Institute fought the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The portrait had been removed from the wall in April, as the case wound through court.

“The case could have ended before it began if the school had simply acknowledged that it is not the government’s place to endorse one specific religion in a public school that children are legally required to attend,” said James Hardiman, the legal director for the ACLU’s Ohio chapter, in Fox News.

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