Lawyers join clash over New Kensington-Arnold's Ten Commandments display
Three attorneys have signed on to help defend New Kensington-Arnold School District in a federal lawsuit over the Ten Commandments display at Valley High School.
District solicitor Tony Vigilante on Thursday would not confirm that the additional legal help means the district plans to engage in a court battle with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and district parents who have demanded the monument be removed.
However, Vigilante said the district has no plans to remove the Decalogue in the immediate future.
School board President Bob Pallone declined to comment.
The school board on Thursday unanimously agreed to appoint the Pittsburgh law firm of Jackson Lewis as special counsel for the case. The appointment came in a 6-0 vote because board members Eric Doutt, Deb Glushenko and Pat Petit were absent.
Vigilante said an attorney at the firm is a Valley High graduate who agreed to accept the case at no cost except for any associated court costs, out-of-pocket expenses or other fees.
Additionally, Vigilante said the district's insurance carrier, School Claims Service through the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, will help defend the district against the claim.
Vigilante said the only potential cost to the district would be the insurance deductible. That amount was not immediately available.
According to court records, attorneys Amie A. Thompson and Anthony G. Sanchez from the Pittsburgh firm Andrews & Price signed on as counsel for the district on Wednesday. Vigilante said they are the insurance company's attorneys.
The district has not yet formally responded to the lawsuit filed on Sept. 14 by the foundation, two district parents and their children.
The plaintiffs believe displaying the monument on public school property violates the Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.
The foundation also has filed a similar lawsuit against the Connellsville Area School District, which has a Ten Commandments monument at its junior high school.
Thompson and another Andrews & Price attorney also are representing the Connellsville district.
Liz Hayes is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Pine-Richland graduate helps spark U.S. to Women’s World Club final
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- No boat races, so regatta-goers find something else to do
- Arizona prison says 700 inmates again ‘refusing to comply’
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate