Northern Indiana school district sued over Nativity scene

October 8, 2015

A high school student and a parent are challenging the constitutionality of a live Nativity scene that's been included in a northern Indiana school district's annual Christmas show for decades.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in South Bend against Concord Community Schools in Elkhart, 15 miles east of South Bend, contending the scene performed by students violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, The Elkhart Truth reports.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from school Superintendent John Trout at his office Wednesday afternoon.

Sam Grover, an attorney with the foundation, told Trout in a letter in August if the district continued with plans to hold the Nativity scene it risked legal action. Trout said at a Sept. 8 school board meeting that the scene would remain part of the holiday performance. The scene includes the telling of the story of the birth of Jesus and a reading from the Bible.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction ordering the school district to take the Nativity scene out of the Christmas show. It also seeks nominal damages of $1 each and legal fees, as well as other unspecified proper relief.


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