A southwest Virginia school system has decided to re-post copies of the Ten Commandments in its schools as part of a display of historical documents.
Giles County Schools removed the displays in December 2010 after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened legal action. The group says that the copies of the Ten Commandments posted as a part of the displays violate the the separation of church and state.
However, the Giles County School Board members voted 3 to 2 to put the commandments and other documents back up. The vote will allow the display of the scriptures along with other documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, Mayflower Compact, Magna Charta, and others with no document being larger than another.
The ACLU says they will move forward with plans to file a lawsuit.
School board member Drema McMahon told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph the controversy had brought the Ten Commandments "back to life" in Giles County and praised community members for supporting the documents. She noted that at least 40 Giles County students had posted copies of the Commandments on their lockers in light of the controversy.
"This battle, as you have referred to it, has been won," McMahon said.
Sammy Marshall, a Giles County resident, told the newspaper he would provide finances if a legal battle resulted from the board's decision.
"We not only have support for this in Giles County but the support of Christians across Southwest Virginia," Marshall said. "We will fight this. God will prevail. This is not over by a long shot. We will not stop until the Ten Commandments are in every school in this country."
A four-foot-tall copy of the Ten Commandments was first hung on the walls of Giles County Schools more than a decade ago following the Columbine school shooting.