School board members waited as long as possible Tuesday night before obeying a court order and removing a framed portrait of Jesus Christ from a public high school hallway.
“We don’t want to do it,” the Bloomingdale Public School board president, James Dickerson, said Tuesday afternoon. “If it wouldn’t be for contempt of court, we wouldn’t do it.”
The picture has been bolted to a wall outside the principal’s office for about 30 years.
Eric Pensinger, an agnostic, sued the school at the start of his senior year in 1992, saying the portrait made him feel like an outsider.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Gibson ordered the school to remove the print in February 1993. His decision was upheld in June by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said displaying the picture violates the constitutional ban on government establishment of religion.