Monday, October 09, 2006


Tweedle . . .

The shouting is finally over.

The Harrison County Board of Education voted 4 to 1 on Friday to settle the suit over the portrait of Jesus that had hung outside the Bridgeport High School principal's office before it was, in a bizarre turn of events, stolen in open view of security cameras.

The exact terms have not been announced but it appears that the main demands of the Americans United For Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union, that the board is never to display the artwork again, or "any other pictures, paintings, posters, prints, statues, carvings or other items with religious content" at the school, will be met.

"This is a victory for the children of Bridgeport," said Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United. ...

Barry Lynn, the civil liberties group’s director, applauded the school system, saying it is avoiding using public money to fight the case and that it is sending a message to school officials across the country.

District employees at the school, as was always their right, may continue to display religious items in their "personal spaces." True to his form throughout this mess, Mike Queen, the most vocal opponent on the board of the removal of the portrait and the only nay vote on the settlement, raised potential problems by suggesting that such a right could include a religious statue on a teacher's desk. But as Mr. Queen candidly admitted in a Letter to the Editor:

I can tell you that constitutional law is very difficult and frustrating for me to fully and completely understand.

It can only be hoped that the rest of the board, the district administrators and the teachers aren't too dense to understand what is clear to even the Alliance Defense Fund.

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