The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the Connellsville Area School District on Thursday, demanding that it remove a monument that includes the text of the Ten Commandments from its junior high school's grounds.
The foundation and the district had been in talks that led to a tentative decision to move the monument to the grounds of a nearby church. But the district put that action on hold Sept. 12, when members of the public demanded that the monument be retained.
According to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, an unidentified district student who is non-religious and the student's parent who is an atheist felt excluded because of the monument. The Wisconsin-based foundation maintains that the posting of the Ten Commandments on government property violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
The district's efforts to cover up the monument were ineffective, according to the lawsuit, because coverings were repeatedly ripped off.
District solicitor Chris Stern declined comment.
Two weeks ago, the foundation sued the New Kensington-Arnold School District, demanding removal of a similar monument there.