A Marion, Ohio high school student is going on strike to protest the removal of a Ten Commandments plaque from the school’s hallway, The Marion Star reports.
A gift to the Harding High School from its graduating class of 1953, the plaque had hung next to the Preamble of the United States Constitution until it was removed by the Marion City School District.
According to Superintendent Gary Barber, he had watched other Ohio school districts face legal challenges and wanted “to make sure that [our] resources are directly aligned to our district’s mission and vision and that being to improve academic achievement, to improve our district culture, communication within our district and to make sure we are using tax dollars wisely.”
The plaque was removed over the summer, but freshman Anthony Miller only decided to go on strike when he learned that its removal was permanent. He and other students are also circulating a petition demanding the plaque be replaced.
“I am attending class because by law I have to attend class but I am refusing to participate,” Miller said. “I’m aware of the consequences, but I would like to get my point across.”
“I don’t care about my grades now,” he continued. “I told the principal, until there is an agreement reached, I will not participate in any Harding-related activities, any Marion City Schools-related activities. Sports, choir, classes, whatever. I won’t even wear my Harding Marching Band shirt.”
Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow, and that he will carry on with his strike until the plaque is replaced.
“Until there is at least some agreement made between the administration and the students,” Miller said, he will continue his strike. “If it is all year,” he added, “then it is all year.”
Principal Kirk Koennecke said that he plans to meet with Miller and other concerned students on January 6 to discuss alternative locations for the plaque.
Watch a 10 TV News report on the situation below.