HARLAN, Ky. (BP)–The Harlan County Board of Education has reposted the Ten Commandments along with other historical documents in the school district’s administrative offices, according to a report in Associated Press.
In a unanimous vote, board members also gave their approval for putting similar displays in each of the district’s 14 schools, the Harlan Daily Enterprise reported.
Chairman Sidney Fee said the decision on whether to put the commandments back up came down to a matter of doing what’s right. The commandments are posted alongside documents such as the Mayflower Compact and the Bill of Rights.
“We think this is totally constitutional now, without any question,” said Johnnie Turner, the school board’s attorney.
The American Civil Liberties Union asked U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman last month to hold two rural Kentucky counties McCreary and Pulaski in contempt for similar repostings in their courthouses. Coffman issued a temporary injunction in May ordering the displays taken down from the two courthouses and the Harlan County schools pending a ruling on a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in November 1999 seeking to permanently ban the displays.
The two counties reposted the exhibits in October with a few modifications, triggering the ACLU’s latest action. Fee said the Harlan County school board is aware of the ACLU’s request to hold officials in McCreary and Pulaski counties in contempt and that the group may ask that they, too, be held in contempt.