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Posted at 3:42 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Commandments removed from Va. school system

By Peter Galuszka

The up-and-down case of the Ten Commandments in a far southwestern Virginia school system has taken another turn -- this time down.

The Giles County School Board on Tuesday decided that copies of the Ten Commandments set in framed, four-foot-tall blocks in the county's five public schools and technology center were to be taken down.

Copies of the commandments had been in the school system for about a decade. In December, a resident complained that posting them in such a way was a constitutional breach. Down they came, but they went back up in January after some parents and local clergy complained.

Parsing constitutionality and the Ten Commandments has always been a difficult task. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that copies in two Kentucky courthouses had to go but it was OK to keep the commandments in a granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin.

The court's reasoning was that the posting of the commandments in the Kentucky courthouses constituted an expression of monotheistic religion but not so in Texas, where the commandments were seen as having more of a secular "educational" purpose.

It isn't clear whether the court's ruling influenced the decisions in rural Giles County, which has a population of nearly 17,000 and skims the West Virginia border.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon's Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Peter Galuszka  | February 22, 2011; 3:42 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics, Virginia, education, faith, history  
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Comments

I'd say posting the Ten Commandments had an educational purpose here.
The school board knows all about the First Amendment now! And it's not just as filler before the Second.

Posted by: krickey7 | February 23, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Public school values focused on academia as a result of scientific experimentation, and evaluations are the core fundamentals of education. Religious pandering and proselytizing should be kept to private institutions who cater to various cults and sects. Young and impressionable minds so directed toward emotional hype and divisive theocratic impulses are bases for further mayhem and miseries as any 4th grade history book will attest.

Posted by: momintum | February 23, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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