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ICC Note: A Virginia school superintendent recently announced that a Bible verse etched onto a bench honoring a student who passed away in an accident last year must be removed. Despite the fact that no complaints have been issued about the bench, the board reported that they must remove the verse in order to remain “legally compliant.” This is one of several incidents within the past year in which references to Christianity have been stripped from public schools in the United States.

By Heather Clark

10/03/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – A school superintendent in Virginia says that a Bible verse engraved on a bench that memorializes a student who died in an ATV accident last year must be removed in order to be “legally compliant.”

The Charlotte Court House community came together following the death of Colton Osborne, a student at Randolph Henry High School known for his love of baseball, to purchase a bench in his memory and place it near the school baseball field.

“The community of Charlotte County is a very sweet and loving community, and they do frequently request to give memorials,” Superintendent Nancy Leonard told local television station WSET.

However, because the bench includes text from Philippians 4:13, which reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” the school board says that it is concerned that it is violating the Constitution.

“During [discussions with our attorney on memorial policies], we found that the memorial bench that we currently have is not legally compliant because of the Establishment Clause,” Leonard said.

While no complaints have been received about the bench, Leonard says that the board is left with three choices: to remove the bench, cover the Scripture, or replace the verse with a secular saying reminiscent of Osborne. She says that the board is working with Osborne’s family to find another quote to replace the Bible verse.

Area residents largely state that they see no issue with the bench.

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