Appeals court grants reprieve in Columbine religious-tiles case

COLORADO — After failing to comply with a federal judge’sorder, Columbine High School won a stay in the case involvingthe display of memorial tiles.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit granted thereprieve on Tuesday after U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel deniedthe school district’s request for additional time. Daniel orderedJefferson County School District to mount the tiles within 20days of his Oct. 15 decision in Fleming v. Jefferson CountySchool District, 99-D1932 (2001). The judge’s deadline expiredSunday.

The district, which claimed the tiles’ religious content violatesseparation of church and state, argued it needed the stay to prepareits appeal. The appeals court ordered the plaintiffs, representedby the Rutherford Institute, to respond to the school’s appealby Nov. 13.

The plaintiffs — friends and family of two students who diedin the April 20, 1999 shooting — sued the school after it removeda handful of tiles with religious content. In his October decision,Daniel said the tiles were part of a limited public forum, whichmade it illegal to discriminate on the basis of religious expression.

Judge rules Columbine High School cannot censor memorial tiles News Flash, 10/18/01