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Giles County Ten Commandment Display Challenged E-mail
Written by Don Byrd   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The ACLU has filed suit over the display of the Ten Commandments in Giles County, Virginia schools. The county's school board recently voted to re-post them and face the legal consequences, so this challenge is not entirely surprising. Interestingly, the complaint is using public outcry over the removal of the display to bolster its point. The Roanoke Times reports:

Seeing the Ten Commandments posted on a school wall, and then hearing the howls of public sentiment when they were taken down, "sends a message to [the student] that he is an outsider and not a full participant in the school community," the lawsuit says.

After first agreeing to remove the Ten Commandments, the school board voted in June to repost them -- but with a display including the Declaration of Independence, sheet music of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Bill of Rights.

County officials said they hoped that a historical and educational context for the commandments will protect them from claims of favoring one religion over others.

"Hold on, let's back up," school board Chairman J.B. Buckland said Tuesday when asked about the lawsuit. "We don't have no Ten Commandments. We have historical documents up."

You can read the ACLU of Virginia's press release here, and read the complaint (pdf) here.