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Virginia School Board Votes to Return Ten Commandments Displays to Schools

February 3, 2011

Setting up a constitutional showdown about the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, the Giles County School Board unanimously voted to return displays of the Ten Commandments previously removed from its schools. One month earlier, the district had removed the displays after a complaint was made by a group that advocates separation between church and state. In Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980), the United Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky statute requiring the display of the commandments in public school classrooms. Upon the advice of the school district's attorney, who agreed that the displays violated the Constitution, the Superintendent removed the displays, and replaced them with copies of the Declaration of Independence. However, there was a strong community reaction to the removal of the displays, and the Board reversed its earlier decision in January, 2011.

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