School District Pays Over $40K to Atheist Group, Removes Ten Commandments to End Lawsuit
ICC Note: A Pennsylvania school district has decided to remove a Ten Commandments monument from school grounds following a costly lawsuit that dates back to 2012. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) initially filed the lawsuit on behalf of a few displeased locals, and has since collected more than $40,000 throughout the legal proceedings. This is one of several instances in which the FFRF has targeted Ten Commandments memorials on either school grounds or government property.
By Michael Gryboski
02/22/2017 United States (Christian Post) – A school district in Pennsylvania is paying the nation’s largest atheist group over $40,000 following a years-long legal battle over a Ten Commandments monument.
New Kensington-Arnold School District and the Freedom From Religion Foundation reached the settlement that was announced earlier this week, in which the district agreed to remove the Ten Commandments display from a local high school.
In a statement published on Triblive, School District Superintendent John Pallone said the district decided “to take the high road,” and “compromised and agreed to remove the monument” within 30 days.
“Under the agreement to remove the monument, the school district’s insurance company will pay $163,500 in legal fees, including more than $40,000 to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
The 6-foot-tall monument of the Ten Commandments has stood at Valley High School near the public school’s gymnasium entrance since it was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1957.
In September 2012, FFRF filed a lawsuit against the school district on behalf of a few local residents who took issue with the display.
In July 2015, U.S. District Juge Terrence F. McVerry ruled in favor of the school district, arguing that FFRF and their clients failed to prove that they were harmed by the display.