ACLU joins challenge to OH school's Jesus portrait

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JACKSON, Ohio (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union has written to a southern Ohio school district challenging the continued display of a large portrait of Jesus that has been at a middle school building since 1947.

The ACLU of Ohio said Thursday the portrait is unconstitutional, promoting one religion instead of separation of church and state.

A Wisconsin-based activist group had written earlier to the school saying the painting hanging above the Jackson Middle School entrance is illegal and should be taken down.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night that drew 300 people, superintendent Phil Howard said the painting has historical significance and will stay put. He got strong backing from most in the crowd. A message was left for him Thursday.

Jackson is some 70 miles south of Columbus.