Anti-religion group: Jesus portrait in Ohio school must be removed

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JACKSON, Ohio ( — The Freedom From Religion Foundation said Wednesday that it would continue to fight an Ohio school board that said it would not remove a large portrait of Jesus that has been inside a middle school since 1947.

“There’s really no gray area here,” Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney for the foundation, told “This is a blatant infringement on our First Amendment rights.”

The activist group dedicated to the separation of church and state notified the school district recently that the painting hanging above the entrance of Jackson Middle School is an illegal endorsement of Christianity and should be taken down.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night that drew a crowd of 300 people, superintendent Phil Howard said the painting has historical significance and will stay put.

Howard was unable to immediately comment for this report due to meetings.

Seidel, meanwhile, said his group’s goal is to work with school boards and they often can come to a resolution.