You may recall that, earlier this year, there was a giant portrait of Jesus hanging in a prominent location at Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio:
Phil Howard, superintendent of the Jackson City Schools, said [Friday] that the portrait was moved this week at the request of the Hi-Y club, which put it up in 1947 in a building that is now the middle school.
“We have to respect the rights of the club,” Howard said. “Failure to do so might open the district to even another lawsuit — this time by the [Hi-Y] club” — or violate the U.S Constitution by “turning the portrait into government speech.”
Officials have maintained that taking the portrait down would censor students’ private speech.
“It belongs to the club,” Howard said. “It’s student speech, not government speech.”
That made no sense, of course, since it wasn’t like giant portraits of Charles Darwin (for the Science Club) and President Obama (Young Democrats!) would have received the same prominence (nor should they).
The ACLU made clear that it didn’t matter which school the portrait was in — it didn’t belong in the district at all.
At the time, the district decided to settle the case. They were going to lose, so it made sense to cut their losses, get rid of the portrait, and move on.
That was the last I heard of the whole saga… until yesterday.
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