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In this country there's a middle school in southern Ohio grabbing national attention.
After administrators removed it religious portrait to avoid a pricey -- it.
Here's the painting of Jesus it's been on display in that school for 66 years 1947.
But a legal challenge claims it's an unconstitutional.
Of christianity we're gonna bring on both sides right now Dan Parker's co president.
By the freedom from religion foundation sir good morning to you and -- you supported taking picture down.
But it's been hanging -- -- Harry Truman was in the White House.
What's the harm in keeping it.
Well the last time I checked.
There's no statute of limitations.
On the First Amendment.
A permanent campaigning other religious figure on a high school law is government.
Speech there's a different between free speech and government speech.
And the freedom from religion foundation and the ACLU of Ohio.
We sued in federal court on behalf of parents and students in that school.
Who feel like outsiders all the bills like who -- -- defending because we saw one of the town halls of the school held and boy they asked for a show a -- -- say who supports the picture hang in there and it was overwhelmingly.
In support of not changing anything.
Who's offended well we don't have we don't have majority rule in this country we have constitutional rule and if there's at least one person who objects.
That person should not be made to feel like an outsider there were one black student in a predominately white school could they put up a white supremacy sign.
You know that would be unfair and un American and on constitution did you have your sights on this school in this portrait for well.
No we didn't it was students in the school who complained to us our -- it was based on how many local plaintiffs.
There are five plaintiffs in the lawsuit that are named in -- other people in the community who don't like the Jesus hanging on the high school -- understood but among the students how how many were there total weather five students are less than that.
Well there were students and parents -- five named plaintiffs the students and parents and wouldn't matter if there were only one.
And the minorities are to be protected in this country the majority does not have the right to bully its way into force.
It's picture of the good man who created hell on the rest of the world they can put in their churches and their homes.
It's a free country but -- -- belongs to all everybody do you believe this matter is settled now.
Because the pictures that came to see.
Well -- There's still this case is still alive this is a temporary restraining order.
And when we get assurance that it will remain down from the school then we can drop the case which is scheduled for another hearing next week so we're waiting to see if it.
Indeed stays -- -- will follow that hearing next began barker thank you from one side of the argument appreciate your time but.
From the Ohio school -- now around saucers with me director of litigation for the liberty institute sir good morning -- by way of Skype.
What are you going to do now.
Well -- because certainly the insurance company informed us a couple of hours before the temporary restraining order hearing.
And before we walk and that they were not gonna provide coverage to the school district.
And -- because the law would allow the ACLU and freedom from religion foundation to get.
A whole lot of attorneys' -- and money from his school district they cannot afford it.
We end we we we had to agree to two to take down the -- in order to avoid the court ordering yesterday's so it was it was a money issue for you.
Well will certainly is and and you know the school district it is not at a position where they can afford to continue to fight.
-- this portrait issue.
And because if they don't have insurance coverage you know that's one of the reasons why we at liberty institute.
Not for this case -- public for the future cases.
Are trying to to -- -- -- around the country.
Two to develop an indefinite vacation fund where when an insurance company fails to ensure a school district and we believe.
That there is their ride and their legal right there there in the legal right to be able to do what they're doing.
There we would be able to insure them ourselves an enzyme that he's in terrorism reinstitute dot org to learn about them.
This is the superintendent of Jackson city schools in Ohio he says we just gonna roll the dice -- taxpayer money it's not fair to take those resources from.
Our kids' education.
What was the estimated cost of legal fees.
Well I MET.
I saw -- case winds and the ACLU -- -- -- school district where.
The but that's the problem with these these types of cases is that a government entities are held hostage.
And and frankly they had to pay -- attorneys' -- if they lose.
Even if they thought that they had any.
America and had a meritorious claims over.
A very tough situation does school district and as well Richard I think he's doing the right thing by ordering the -- -- club did take a portrait down.
It now it's up to the -- -- club it's their first amendment rights that are being -- while I want to I think actually think you know.
What's the high why.
Did I want club as the club who owns the portraits.
And they're the ones that we -- -- -- -- -- it's a student club spin around since the 1920s they put up the portrait in 1947.
And and we told them they had to take a -- -- down.
I even out there portrait in private speech because we just can't afford to to risk and -- -- -- How are the students at this school -- where they -- what are the teachers and supported.
Well you know I I.
I don't know what -- -- everybody's saying you know what I what I do know is that I think there's a lot of citizens are angry at the school district.
I think you need to understand the school district.
And -- -- -- had a sort of damocles hanging over them I mean if they if there if the court where it where to start issuing a lot of quarters against a school district.
I certainly acting -- some problems for them.
And -- just can't all the guys that got taxpayer money but maybe one of these days it will be alerted to provide some sort of insurance or identification of these things you're saying you know he's -- You talk about a possibility in the future development organization to have the funds in the money to fight especially.
For small towns -- Jackson Ohio here and saucer thanks to you Dan barker represent the other side before you.
There's apparently another hearing next week so we'll see if -- comes from sir thank you for your time today.
-- thank you.
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