Fight over Jesus Portrait Moves to High School

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The fight over a portrait of Jesus has graduated from a middle school to a high school in Ohio.
The picture, which had been hanging in a Jackson City Middle School, was moved after the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed suit against the Jackson City School District, alleging that it illegally promoted religion in a public school.

School authorities moved the portrait to a city high school, hanging it alongside a trophy case at the request of the student club that owns it.

Now the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have petitioned the court for a temporary order to remove it again.

The school district isn't backing down. In a response filed Tuesday, they said removing the portrait, which has been on display for decades, violates the students' free-speech rights.

The picture represents "private student speech in a limited public forum," which is protected under the Constitution's free speech clause.

"A limited public forum can exist for specific types of speakers, including student-run clubs at a public school," the district's filing stated.

It noted that the school has not barred other student groups from displaying portraits there.

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