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Ohio school to decide Jesus portrait suit response

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 12, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.

JACKSON, Ohio — An Ohio school board is set to meet over how it will respond to a federal lawsuit seeking removal of a portrait of Jesus that hangs prominently in its middle school.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation say the large portrait unconstitutionally promotes religion. They filed a lawsuit last week in U.S. district court on behalf on an unidentified student and two parents.

The Jackson City Schools board will meet Tuesday evening in an elementary school gym.

Superintendent Phil Howard says the district was “shocked and surprised” at the suit. Attorneys for the district have been examining the matter.

The district says the portrait was donated by a student group and has been in the school since about 1947.

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