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Michigan school board won't remove religious display

Group believes decoration violates separation of church and state

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights activists complained about the decoration this year, saying that it violates the separation of church and state.
The Michigan Association of Civil Rights activists complained about the decoration this year, saying that it violates the separation of church and state.

NEWAYGO, Mich. – A Michigan school board has decided that a religious Christmas decoration will stay at an elementary school, though district officials may alter it following concerns from an activist group.

The Newagyo Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to keep the display featuring wise men, which has been used at Newaygo Elementary for at least 40 years.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists complained about the decoration this year, saying that it violates the separation of church and state.

The group says the display promotes one religion over others. The board passed the issue over to Superintendent Peggy Mathis, asking her to ensure the decoration fits into district values and encouraging her to make changes if necessary.

Mathis says it's unlikely any alterations will occur before Christmas.