Published Wed, Jan 9, 2013 5:56 am Dateline
Estimates of 550 to 600 members of the community showed up at Tuesday night's Jackson City School Board meeting to show their support for the administration's decision to keep the picture of Jesus Christ hanging in its place of honor in Jackson Middle School.
In the public participation portion of the meeting a total of 11 people addressed the board, only three of which were in favor of having the picture removed.
There were eruptions of applause when some of the speakers spoke in support of keeping the picture in place, and in spite of warnings from Board President Randy Evans to be respectful of everyone who spoke, there were some boo's heard from the crowd when the three opposed to the picture had their say.
Jackson City School Superintendent Phil Howard gave a brief on his investigation as to the district's rights and responsibilities under Ohio Revised Code.
He informed the large crowd that some things student led are permitted by law, and that his stance is nothing illegal is being done at the school.
Howard also showed a framed poster of America's motto, "In God We Trust," and Ohio's motto of "With God, All Things Are Possible," and explained that under ORC 3313.801 it states: If a copy of the official motto of the United States of America 'In God We Trust' or the official motto of Ohio 'With God, All Things Are Possible' is donated to any school district, or if money is donated to the district specifically for the purpose of purchasing such material, the board of education of the school district shall accept the donation and display the motto in an appropriate manner.
At the conclusion of his message Howard said, "As of right now, I have taken the position... and I believe with the support of the Board of Education, that the picture will stay."
With that said, the crowd went to their feet and erupted in applause.
This story originally appeared in the Jackson County Times-Journal and was re-posted with permission.