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Connellsville businessman supporting school's decision to not move Ten Commandments display



CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. - School district leaders have delayed moving a controversial Ten Commandments display outside a junior high school indefinitely.

Board members said it will stay put, and they are looking at all of their options to determine how to move forward.

The monument is outside the Connellsville Area Junior High School. A student's parent and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have each asked the district to take down the monument.

In a statement, the group said the First Amendment gives parents the right to tell their children what religion to choose and not public schools.

In a show of support for the school, a Connellsville businessman is putting visual reminders around town in hopes of reminding people to not give up the fight.

"I'm Catholic, and I really haven't been to church that much lately," Gary Colatch said. "But we needed to do something here, and we needed to drum up support. If we don't get support, the school board is going to fold."

Colatch said he’s making Ten Commandments tablets and putting them around town. He’s also going on local talk radio.

“In my opinion, an extremist group is taking advantage of a way to manipulate and bully a little community like Connellsville. I just don’t think this should be tolerated,” Colatch said.

Colatch said he has offered his own money to help pay the district's legal fees.

The marble slab was donated in 1957 and placed outside what was then the high school. But the monument is now near a staff parking lot and not prominently displayed.