- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some legal persuasion by the American Civil Liberties Union has prompted a southern Ohio school district to take down a Jesus portrait that has been up since 1947.

The decision to remove the portrait from Jackson Middle School was made after the district’s insurance company refused to cover litigation fees. The Hi-Y Club, a Christian-based club that the school says owns the portrait, took it down, The Blaze reported.

“At the end of the day, we just couldn’t roll the dice with taxpayer money,” Superintendent Phil Howard told The Associated Press. “When you get into these kinds of legal battles, you’re not talking about money you can raise with bake sales and car washes. It’s not fair to take those resources from our kids’ education.”

The ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation had sued on behalf of a student and two parents, calling the portrait unconstitutional.

Hiram Sasser, an attorney with the Liberty Institute that helped defend the school, said the Hi-Y Club could file its own lawsuit for the right to display the portrait, but he didn’t know its plans, The Blaze reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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