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A Jesus portrait in a small Ohio town has come down over concerns over the cost of defending a federal lawsuit against its display.
The religious painting thrust rural Jackson, Ohio into a national debate over religion in public schools.
The Jackson City Schools superintendent ordered the "Head of Christ" painting taken down Wednesday. Superintendent Phil Howard said the decision was made after the district's insurance company declined to cover litigation expenses.
"At the end of the day, we just couldn't roll the dice with taxpayer money," Superintendent Phil Howard told The Associated Press. "When you get into these kinds of legal battles, you're not talking about money you can raise with bake sales and car washes. It's not fair to take those resources from our kids' education."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation sued on behalf of a student and two parents. The complaint, attached here, called the portrait an unconstitutional promotion of religion in a public school.