Virginia County again modifies display of 10 Commandments in school

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

As previously reported, the ACLU last year filed suit in a Virginia federal district court on behalf of a high school student and the student’s parent challenging the posting of Ten Commandments displays in the Giles County, Virginia Public Schools. Last month, the judge ordered the case to mediation. (See prior posting.) Now, according to the Roanoke Times, the Giles County School Board yesterday voted unanimously to replace the Ten Commandments text that is displayed at Narrows High School with a copy of a page from a history textbook captioned “Roots of Democracy“.  That page includes a depiction of the Ten Commandments tablets, but without the full text of the Commandments, with the explanation: “The values found in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus, inspired American ideas about government and morality.” The page also depicts Greco-Roman, Enlightenment, and English Parliamentary roots of American government.  This is the third version of the Ten Commandments display, as the School Board struggles with how to respond to legal challenges. (See prior posting.)  [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]