Atheists Filed Federal Lawsuit Against Ohio School Over Jesus Christ Portrait

Jackson, OH – A federal lawsuit has been filed against Jackson Middle School because a portrait of Jesus Christ is hanging inside the building. Both the Ohio ACLU and a Wisconsin-based atheist group are working together to bring down the Jesus portrait donated by a student group about three decades ago.

Support for keeping the Jackson Middle School Jesus Christ portrait place runs high in the rural community. The atheist group, Freedom From Religion Foundation, claims the portrait hanging inside the Southern Ohio school is unconstitutional. Although the school is still conducting an investigation into the legality of the portrait, the ACLU and atheist group filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday, Fox News notes.

An excerpt from the federal lawsuit against the Jackson Middle School reads:

“The maintenance and display of the portrait has the effect of advancing and endorsing one religion, improperly entangling the State in religious affairs, and violating the personal consciences of plaintiffs.”

One of the plaintiffs angry about the Jesus Christ portrait at the Ohio school is identified solely as Sam Doe. One of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit is a Jackson Middle School student and likely prompted the desire to withhold his identity. The two other plaintiffs are parents with children who attend the school.

Jackson City Schools Superintendent Phil Howard is also named as a defendant along with the district. As previously noted by The Inquisitr, the Liberty Institute is aiding the school in the battle over the religious portrait. A spokeswoman from the rural Ohio school district noted Howard’s surprise about the lawsuit filing since an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

An appropriate course of action regarding the lawsuit will be discussed during the February 12 board of education meeting. Phil Howard noted during an interview with The Telegram that the Jesus Christ portrait does not violate the law because it has historical significance. He also stated that the image donated by a student group which began in 1947 had not hurt anyone. There had reportedly never been a complaint about the Jesus portrait until threats of legal action surfaced last month.

Do you think the Jackson Middle School Jesus portrait should come down?

[Image Via: The Telegram]