- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls officials will add a disclaimer to city-owned snowplows following a controversy over religious messages that were painted by some students on the blades of two plows.

Officials say the disclaimer is meant to show the city isn’t endorsing any particular message.

Students at two parochial schools painted the blades for the city’s Paint the Plows program. One blade includes the words “Jesus Christ” and the other “Happy Birthday Jesus.”

The Siouxland Freethinkers complained, saying religious messaging doesn’t belong on publicly owned vehicles. They say the messages violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

Mayor Mike Huether on Tuesday said the city wouldn’t paint over the plows unless it received a court order.

Part of the disclaimer reads: “Any message or views expressed are not those of the city or endorsed by the city.”

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