Ohio school district is taking Jesus portrait down - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Ohio school district is taking Jesus portrait down

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A federal court did not issue a ruling on Tuesday in the case involving a controversial Jackson County, Ohio painting of Jesus, but the school superintendent said the painting is coming down anyway to avoid the court ordering to do so.

Superintendent Phil Howard said this may lead to a lawsuit from the Hi-Y Club, which displayed the painting, but the Jackson City Schools district had little choice in the matter.

The district said the painting didn't violate the U.S. Constitution and students' free speech rights would be violated if a judge orders it removed.

The Jackson City School district on Tuesday asked a federal judge not to grant the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation's motion for an order removing the portrait.

The groups on Monday asked the judge to order the portrait removed from the high school wall where it was moved last month.

Those same groups sued school officials in February, charging that the portrait displayed then in a middle school illegally promoted religion.