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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tomah schools settle religious freedom lawsuit

The Tomah School District has formally agreed to allow religious expression in student artwork to settle a federal lawsuit.

The Alliance Defense Fund sued the district in March on behalf of a Tomah High School student.

The student alleged an art teacher gave him a zero on an assigned drawing because he included a cross and the words "John 3:16 A sign of love" in the picture. The teacher cited a class policy that prohibited depictions of violence, blood, sex or religious beliefs in artwork.

The district also has agreed to grade the assignment, remove any records of two detentions the student received for arguing the policy and pay the student's attorney fees.

The settlement did not mention what grade the student earned.
One of my kids made references to church and Baby Jesus a couple times in early grades, doing art projects on what we do at Christmas. They were hung in the hallway just like all the other kids' artwork. But I guess we're just better, more tolerant people in Baraboo.