A 2002 lawsuit over school prayer caused a West Virginia school district to do away with its policy allowing school-sponsored, student-led prayers at commencement ceremonies.
The separation of church and state was challenged again in the Mountain State when a 2006 suit demanded a school district remove a portrait of Jesus from a school hallway.
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The ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State filed suit in May 2002 seeking to end the policy by West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley Schools of allowing school-sponsored prayers at graduation ceremonies, according to the ACLU website.
The suit was initiated on behalf of a student who objected to the planned prayer at his high school graduation ceremony in the district.
The ACLU, Americans United, and the school district resolved the suit through a settlement in which the district agreed not to allow prayers at the commencement ceremony, the ACLU website said. It indicated the district also promised to review its programs to "ensure adequate education and training on First Amendment issues, particularly the separation of church and state and freedom of religion."
West Virginia was the site of another suit involving schools and religion in 2006, when the ACLU and Americans United sued the Harrison County School District seeking the removal of a portrait of Jesus posted in one of its high schools, the Americans United website said.
Someone burglarized the school and stole the portrait after the lawsuit was filed. The plaintiffs and the district reached a settlement through which the district agreed not to post that picture or any other "devotional art" in its schools, the website said.
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