Monday, November 18, 2013

Atheists' Lawsuits Force Jesus Out of Ohio Schools

Shortly after a federal judge ruled against the Jackson City (Ohio) School District for displaying a portrait of Jesus Christ (ruling in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation), the East Muskingum, Ohio school board voted unanimously to remove a portrait of Jesus in response to an ultimatum by the ACLU. The atheists' action was in response to a student complaint that the school didn't endorse the Gay Agenda.

The board decided to leave the empty frame hanging in place, along with its 1971 dedication plaque in memorial of former teacher Margaret Barnett.  It is not known if the school asked any Christian organizations to provide pro bono legal defense.

For background, read the saga of the Jackson City school Jesus portrait.

UPDATE 12/16/13: Ohio Lawmakers' Bill to Put Jesus Back in Schools

UPDATE 12/7/14: Ohio School Supt. & Citizens vs. Complaining Atheists

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee & Mississippi

Christmas Banned in Schools Across America

'Jesus' Booted from Predominantly Jewish Illinois School

School Fires Bus Driver for Praying in Minnesota

God NOT Your Idol, Teacher Tells Student -- Michael Jackson Is

Atheists Say Illegal Christianity 'Rampant' in Georgia Schools

Texas Law Tells Schools to Ignore Atheist Threats

In addition, read how the Gay Agenda forces boys into girls bathrooms, and vice versa

-- From "Ohio School District Will Remove Jesus Portrait" by Dan McCue, Courthouse News Service 10/9/13

The consent decree approved by U.S. District Judge Algernon Marbley mandates the permanent removal of the portrait from [Jackson City] school grounds. A financial settlement that's part of the agreement also requires the school to pay the plaintiffs a combination of damages and legal fees totaling $95,000.

Of that total, $15,000 will be divided equally between the five [parents/students], and $80,000 will be paid to the attorneys.

About a month before the lawsuit was filed in the federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Rebecca Markert, a staff attorney with the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a letter of complaint to the district on behalf of parents with students in the school.

James Hardiman of the Ohio ACLU then filed the suit, claiming the display of the portrait violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the 14th Amendment, and also the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Decision Made Regarding Jesus Painting" by Courtney Wheaton, WHIZ-TV18 (Zanesville, OH) 11/15/13

A meeting was held Thursday evening in regards to a picture of Jesus hanging at John Glenn High School [in East Muskingum].

The picture in question depicts a shepherd herding his flock. The painting was donated more than 40 years ago as a memorial for Margaret Barnett, a beloved teacher. After receiving a complaint from a student, the picture was called into question by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"You have one ..It's just like one apple ruins the whole bushel type of thing. One person didn't get their point of view across, which you're in kind of an immature status just because you are in high school and you're going to have the high school drama, " said 2006 John Glenn Graduate, Steven Ball.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Board to remove portrait" by Brian Gadd, Staff Writer, Lancaster Eagle Gazette 11/15/13

About 400 people turned out for the board meeting, including local pastors and church groups, residents and former students and officials

There were 18 speakers who took the podium favoring keeping the painting of “The Good Shepherd” . . .

Rix Mills Presbyterian Pastor Jim Gibson previously had offered to place the picture in the church, which Margaret Bennett attended.

Local resident Tom Hayes said he recalls when the picture used to hang in the main hallway of the school, rather than out of the public’s view in the school office.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "East Muskingum school board bows to legal precedent, orders painting removed from John Glenn High School" by John Lowe, The Daily Jeffersonian (Cambridge, OH) 11/15/13

. . . the board's position read in part: "It is not a responsible and wise use of the funds dedicated to the current and future students of the East Muskingum Schools to expend those funds on litigation that is not likely to succeed."

The ACLU became aware of the painting at issue after a student who became upset about the removal of a T-shirt from a display. The T-shirt, modified in an art class, carried a slogan that read, "Gay is OK."

The T-shirt reportedly was removed after a parent had complained and the administration deemed the display of the shirt disruptive of the learning environment at the school. However, students apparently were allowed to wear the shirt to school subsequent to its removal from the display.

Nevertheless, the situation escalated and the focus shifted from the shirt to the painting. The objecting student said she would file a lawsuit if it were not removed because its presence violated her religious freedom.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Student challenges Jesus portrait in school" by Eric Lyttle, The Columbus Dispatch 11/1/13

Allison Whaley, an 18-year-old senior at John Glenn High School in New Concord, about 70 miles east of Columbus, said she was frustrated by what she sees as her community’s lack of tolerance.

“I’m trying to break down barriers and instill a tolerance for other lifestyles, for other cultures and religions,” she said.

East Muskingum school district Superintendent Jill Johnson said art students were assigned to research several social topics and create T-shirt designs that exemplified their feelings about the topic. The designs were displayed in a case near the high school’s front entrance.

Two of the designs — “Gay is Okay” and another that said “Right to Life” — “became hot topics throughout the rest of the school,” Johnson said. “There were comments made and side conversations overheard. The decision was made to remove the T-shirts as disruptive to the educational process.” Two students were sent to the office for arguing about them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

In addition, read Arizona School OKs Teacher: Pedophilia, Bestiality

And also read Obama-Schooling Should Begin at Age 18 Months, Experts Say