CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Harrison County Board of Education says it will drop its effort to keep a painting of Jesus Christ hanging in Bridgeport High School.
The issue has been challenged in court by two civil liberties groups.
Though the painting was stolen August 17th, the board had still planned to fight for the right to keep a religious display.
Under legal advisement, the board said Thursday that it will file a motion seeking dismissal of the lawsuit in light of the disappearance of the painting at the heart of the case.
The West Virginia affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit in federal court in June after the school declined their request to remove the painting.
The groups argue that the portrait endorses Christianity as the school's official religion.
Christian students who had raised 67-hundred dollars say they plan to present something new after school today that is to be hung at the school.
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.