CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – A federal judge on Friday ruled that a monument of the Ten Commandments outside the Connellsville Area Junior High School in Fayette County violates the U.S. Constitution.
However, at the same time, the judge did not order the monolith removed.
Now, both opponents and supporters of the monument are claiming at least partial victories.
The four-and-a-half-foot monument has been on school property for more than 50 years, and most recently, it’s been tightly sealed to prevent people from removing plywood and other coverings.
The judge said the monument can stay where it is because the student who objected to it, and challenged it in court, has moved on and no longer attends the school.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which brought the case to court, said in a statement from Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor: “We are very pleased reason has prevailed. The school district should do the right thing and remove it.”
They went on to say that the monument should be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and then the money should be used to pay [the district’s] legal costs.
A pro-monument group, called Thou Shall Not Move, said the decision sounds favorable and religion has always been part of the country’s fabric.
In Connellsville Friday night, one man said, “I have no problem with the monument; it’s all what a person does that’s important.”
Another person took a different view, saying, “The church should be in the church because people in school have different opinions, and I don’t think any religions should be shoved in with it.
KDKA reached out to the Connellsville School District for reaction to the judge’s ruling, but we received no response.